I am me, who could you be?

Woz-James-Synnott

By Woz James-Synnott, Service Manager, Bristol

I am me, who could you be? This was the title of a book from my childhood, looking at how we identify ourselves.

I suppose I have labelled myself with many identities through my life. Mostly to do with my vocations, priest, gardener, beggar, market trader, chicken farmer, support worker, service manager. All of these were more about what I did, than who I am.

It has only been since working for Riverside that I have acknowledged and been open about my bisexuality. This was inspired by a work colleague who was open and I decided I want to be honest and I want to be me.

Growing up in the 80s, I was unable to express this side of myself as it was dangerous and there was such a lot of abuse and homophobia. Nowadays people are much more open and I have been inspired by how open the youth are.

Both my daughters are bisexual. Yes, I have daughters and I am married to a woman. Many people assume that when you are bi that it just means gay. This is not the case.

Some people assume that if you are married to someone of the opposite sex you are straight, also not necessarily the case. Being bisexual puts you in both worlds and yet in neither.

It is strange to have been carrying a secret for so long and how refreshing it is to be open. There is plenty of support within Riverside for however you identify yourself. Being yourself just seems to make life simpler. I feel whole, or complete. I don’t make a big thing of it normally, because it’s only a part of who I am, if that makes sense?

I am part of Riverside’s LGBT staff network Spectrum and have also joined Enable, for staff with disabilities and Origin, for BAME employees.

I put this question to you, I am me, who could you be? Whoever you are, be yourself.

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