The evening centred around a panel discussion chaired by the Principal, John Bowers QC, loosely themed 'coming out then and now'. Yera Hagopian (Modern Languages, 1976), Managing Director, Head of Capital & Liquitidy in Management Transaction Banking at Barclays, gave the opening address, and we had a terrific panel consisting of four Brasenose alumni and a Barclay's Spectrum member - all of whom gave their own experiences of being LGBTQ+ in school; university; business; and as part of campaigning organisations.
Leonard Grant (Chemistry, 2003) addressed, as a trans man, the particular issues faced by trans people. Duncan Campbell (Physics, 1970), the well-known campaigning journalist, spoke movingly of the steps forward since he was involved in setting up Stonewall in the 1980s with Sir Ian McKellan, while Sue Baines (Director of UK Barclays Debit Card Optimisation & Growth and Co-Chair of Spectrum) and Radhika Piramal (PPE, 1997) expanded on relevant experiences in the business world. Tim Ramsey (Classics, 2008), CEO of Just Like Us and Leonard particularly referred to their work in education. Radhika, CEO of VIP Industries (India’s Number 1 luggage company), and India's only open lesbian CEO, also talked movingly of the difficulties of coming out in India.
A big thank you too to Cuthbert Kendall (Jurisprudence, 1994), an ally at Barclays Spectrum who put us in touch with the Network to make the evening possible. We are looking forward to holding more events soon and involving current students as well as alumni.