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"Merry Christmas to you and your Partner (p.s, you never said it they were a guy or a girl)"

I spent many years being discreet about being gay while working as a mental health nurse and therapist.


When engaging with young people, it requires you to be aware of the power imbalance and often by giving small, select bits of personal information, it can help to address this. But I noticed that my colleagues wouldn't hesitate about saying what they were doing at the weekend when it involved their children or husband for example.


However, I would avoid answering this question from my patients or make a vague comment about doing something with my "partner".


One year, a patient I had been working with for a long time, handed me a Christmas card, but he didn't know how to address my partner and made reference to it in the card.


"Merry Christmas to you and your Partner (p.s, you never said it they were a guy or a girl)"


This was such a turning point in my professional career, where I realised that I had for some reason, felt like I shouldn't be honest about who I am. This was such a missed opportunity to model real life and diversity for my patients, or to give them explicit permission to have a conversation about their own sexuality and not make assumptions about them too. This was my second "Coming out" so to speak, but this time it was professionally.



Nearly 10 years later, I married my now Husband, with our closest friends, family and many colleagues there to share in our incredible day.



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