Paul Scott-Harris shares his advice for supporting LGBTQ+ colleagues and experience of looking for work outside of the UK.
June 2022 marks 50 years since the first Pride took place in the UK. As we celebrate the progress made, we must recognise that there’s still much more progress to be done. What do you hope for the next 50 years?
Globally, I hope that LGBT+ identities will no longer be criminalised, and instead I hope that the international LGBT+ community can be accepted and celebrated.
By 2072, I hope young people can grow up surrounded by limitless forms of self-expression, knowing that they can be whoever they want to be and never be limited by that.
In the shorter term, the rights of trans people (including non-binary people) must stop being placed at odds with the rights of cisgender women. Social attitudes towards LGBT+ people must be changed in order to tackle inequalities, such as the disproportionate level of homelessness, health and healthcare inequalities, and high levels of discrimination faced by LGBT+ people. Within the profession, I would like to see LGBT+ people be taken more seriously, and be celebrated exactly as they are without having to unfairly censor themselves.
As a charity, we champion the wellbeing of our pharmacy family. How do you take care of yourself and stay motivated to keep driving positive change?
I will admit that I am better at staying motivated than I am at taking care of myself. But over the past four years, I have learnt the importance of knowing when to stop and say no. I like to keep my evenings free to relax, and I like to make ‘to-do’ lists to structure my day and give me a sense of achievement.
In terms of staying motivated to make change, there are so many issues that I feel powerless to tackle. However being able to use my privilege, time, and effort to combat some of these problems and make things better for people gives me my motivation, and brings me some comfort. Furthermore, seeing others’ passion and desire for change empowers me to stay motivated, despite pushback.
If you feel as though you are being discriminated against at university, your training placement or at work then please reach out for help.
The PDA is the trade union for pharmacists, trainee pharmacists and MPharm students. Trainees can join the PDA for free. Take advantage of free employment advice (including workplace bullying) and advice on fitness to practise issues. The PDA also has a range of initiatives to support you through your foundation year.
EACH is a charity for young people and adults affected by homophobia. They have a helpline for young people who are experiencing homophobic bullying. You can call them on 0800 1000 143.