Why do you want to make Scotland the best place for LGBTQ+ young people to flourish and thrive?
We all know that society isn’t fair, there are so many different disadvantages that can really impact how life is as a young person and the opportunities that means you can access.
If we can work together to remove some of the barriers, making it so that any LGBTQ+ young person feels confident and safe to be who they are on the street or in class or at work, without debating if they have the mental strength to do that before they even get up in the morning then that’s a huge step forward.
The young people I’ve worked with over the past few years show such strength and resilience and courage, and eloquence (while having fun) – I want a Scotland where every LGBTQ+ young person can flourish and thrive without needing to fight for it.
What is your experience?
I have a complete mix of experience over the years! From a PhD in Physics, through to working in technology and STEM for about 15 years across the world, through to joining the third sector about 8 years ago, campaigning for gender equality in STEM and then transferring into working with LGBTQ+ young people.
I’ve also volunteered and worked informally with young people for the past 20+ years now through STEM programmes, outreach, music charities to support disadvantaged young people and scouting.
There’s been no real plan to it to be honest – it’s very much a case of “ooohhh that looks interesting – let’s give it a go”.
What do you do for fun?
Fun depends on who I am with. If I’m with my son it’s Minecraft, Zelda, Pokemon, dog walks, climbing walls, swimming, cycling and seeing friends.
If I’ve got time on my own then mountains are my happy place. The hills give me space to think, to reset myself and recharge my batteries. If I can’t get up a hill, then I’ll run, swim or cycle locally or knit!
What mattered most to you when you were a young person?
I was all about saving the animals. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to most of them so had to try and do that from a distance.