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Pride month: Realising the importance of being yourself

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Last editedJun 20201 min read

As it’s Pride month, the Rainbow group at GoCardless wanted to share some of the stories from within our community. This week we hear from Marios, Small Business Specialist.

When I was growing up, coming to terms with my sexuality was never easy. There were some very dark times throughout high-school and college. This is why when considering a role with a new company, it is very important that they support the LGBT+ community.

However, I did work in one company where I felt like I had to hide who I am. It made my whole experience there horrible and I left after a couple of weeks because I couldn’t shake the constant anxiety – to the point that I’d dread waking up on a weekday. 

Now I look for openness and acceptance. 

When interviewing at GoCardless, it was the first time I’ve ever been introduced to my direct team. This enabled me to assess whether I’d be comfortable spending 40 hours a week with them, and to test the waters by mentioning topics that touched on points personal to me. 

Creating inclusive environments

Many LGBT+ people, especially those who are early into their journey of discovering their gender or sexual identity, can carry around a lot of emotional baggage. Personally, I would have definitely found it easier to settle into previous roles if the companies had been more forward about their support for the community. 

Simple visual cues can have a major impact. When I was interviewing at GoCardless, the signed Pride canvas on the wall gave me a sense the company is proud of the contributions of its LGBT+ workers and that made me feel at ease straight away.

Feeling pride in the community

I remember some of my first interactions at GoCardless. The conversations flowed in such a way that I thought, they're either on my team (i.e. they're LGBT+ or an ally) or they misheard what I said – but to then hear them ask and really take an interest makes the feeling of acceptance so pronounced.

During my time here, I’ve struggled with various aspects of my life, and in those moments I have been able to turn to my managers and colleagues for support. One of the best parts of the Rainbow community at GoCardless is that there are people I would never have guessed are part of the LGBT+ community, or who are an ally and support us. 

To see the range of people in this community coming together to support each other makes me feel lucky to be a part of it.

You can stay up to date with the Rainbow group, and Life at GoCardless via our Instagram.

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