I grew up in a small farming community in the U.K. wondering if I was the only gay kid in town. Soccer was one of the few things in my early years that offered a sense of camaraderie – but I began questioning the authenticity of that camaraderie when I realized I was hiding from my teammates my full truth.
Things began to change for me when I started at University of Brighton, just outside of London. I joined the London Left Footers—one of London’s first gay soccer teams—and emerged on the scene at a time when the gay liberation movement was at its peak. Finding friends with similar upbringings, struggles and perspectives was more than a relief—rediscovering that sense of belonging through community and sport I grappled with in childhood was euphoric. It all required a level of personal introspection that’s still with me today.
At work I manage people who conduct phase-three registrational programs for our investigational medicines in clinical trials. I’m always looking for ways to improve both the quality of my team’s work as well as the environment we all work in everyday.
I try to bring my own experience into the way I interact with my team. I know that everyone I meet is a complex amalgamation of many different factors from their lives. Keeping that in mind helps me make sure people feel comfortable to share their experiences, which in turn makes everyone feel like they can bring their whole selves to the office.
For fun I read a lot of science fiction taking place in alternate realities. What resonates the most for me with the genre is the recurring theme that the future of humanity depends on empathy and goodwill. It reminds me of the people that have been there for me on my journey thus far, and inspires me to be there for others.