Stephen Berwind is a Senior Lecturer in Drama, and takes up the position of Programme Leader in Drama in September 2016.
“I have found it easy and uneventful to be out while working at Manchester Metropolitan University. My colleagues know I am a gay man, as do my students. I don’t make an announcement as to my gay identity, but I make no effort to hide it. While the stereotype is that theatre world is very gay friendly, in my experience, that is not always the case. I have been fortunate that things have always been good for me as a gay man at Manchester Met.
“However, before coming out, I wish someone had warned me that LGBT prejudice could appear in unlikely places.
“I was once fired from a job with an internationally famous symphony orchestra because the Managing Director forced my manager to fire me against her will. I filed a discrimination case (the first LGBT employment discrimination case in the city). It was a very tough experience; but the panel ruled probable cause in my favour and the Orchestra settled the suit. The best result of this suit is that the Managing Director changed how he treated remaining LGBT staff for the better. I felt that all of the anxiety of the 18 months of the suit was worthwhile because it had brought about positive change.
“If anyone were to face problems as a result of their sexual orientation, I’d say to them: life gets better as you mature and are proud of who you are. There will be rough patches, but the end will mostly be very positive.”