Portraits Of LGBTQI+ Professionals In The City Of London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 13 months ago

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Last Updated 16 June 2023

Portraits Of LGBTQI+ Professionals In The City Of London
A man in mayoral garb poses in a stately looking room with mint green walls
Nick Lyons The Lord Mayor of London 2023

A "deeply honest and extraordinarily candid" photo essay of City of London professionals is back on display at the Guildhall this June — now featuring 45 new portraits of of LGBTQI+ people who work in and around the Square Mile.

A woman in a shocking pink suit stands on a traffic island on Tower Bridge
Natalie Patrick - Senior Building Surveying Consultant, JLL

CorporateQueer first went on show in 2021, with Fiona Freund's photographic portraits capturing marketing managers, IT consultants, security guards, artists, legal professionals — and even a lord — posing in their workplaces and by landmarks including the London Eye, Tower of London, Albert Bridge, and BT Tower.

A person in high vis posing with a sweeping machine below modern looking building struts
Michael David McLaughlan - Jet washer/Cleaner - Broadgate

From 24 June-2 July 2023, the show is back in the al fresco setting of Guildhall Yard — and the original 60 photos are joined by 45 fresh ones, including those of the current Lord Mayor of London, Nick Lyons; comedian and political activist Eddie Izzard; Sue Gossedge — Market Constable at Smithfield Market; and Broadgate jet washer/cleaner Michael David McLaughlan.

Mariama Wurie — Product Marketing Manager, Google

Accompanying each portrait is a quote from the subject. While peppered with pride and optimism, these quotes also highlight the many challenges and issues still faced by the LGBTQ+ community, in a UK in which less than 20% of LGBT+ are out at work, and 50% of transgender employees hide their workplace identity for fear of discrimination.

Eddie Izzard poses in front of the Garrick Theatre, with a poster bill for her latest show there
"Fortune favours the brave!" - Eddie Izzard is one of the 45 new additions,

Says Izzard in her quote: "When I came out in 1985, I realised that being trans was almost invisible in society and that we were not considered part of our society (we didn’t even have the word trans then). I also knew I was gender fluid but we didn’t even have that phrase back then... I encourage all people to be their authentic selves, to be proud and stand their ground in public and in the workplace. Fortune favours the brave!"

Chris Outram - Security Guard, Broadgate
Chris Outram - Security Guard, Broadgate

Says Jacqui Rhule-Dagher, Associate at Hogan Lovells International LLP — and another new addition to the exhibition: "When I first entered the legal industry, I was so deep in the closet that I could have been mistaken for Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. My Monday morning routine typically consisted of rehearsing lines on the tube to the much-dreaded question: 'What did you do at the weekend?' I was terrified that I might out myself if I revealed too much to my colleagues.

A woman standing on a roof terrace overlooking St Paul's Cathedral
Jacqui Rhule-Dagher - Associate at Hogan Lovells

"My trepidation stemmed from the fact that I, rarely, if ever, met other openly lesbian lawyers. If you don't meet people like you, you can start to think that there is something wrong with you. Being Black and female was challenging enough, without adding my sexuality into the mix. Today, I am proudly out."

A man in a mint green satin shirt poses in front of the Royal Exchange
Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and CEO at Involve

Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and CEO at Involve says: "I've always felt like an outsider in business and it's probably why I started my own companies. Why do you need to wear a tie and suit in business to be successful? You don't.

"I haven't worn a tie in over 10 years. I see it as my own little protest against those in positions of power and influence."

Claire Stevens — Independent IT consultant in the finance sector

The Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury says in his quote: "Whilst you must fight like a tiger to take up issues of LGBT+ equality, you mustn't let that become the only thing that defines you.

"The confidence and freedom that come from being proud of your own identity enable you to make a real difference and bring freedom for others too."

Kate Munday — Client Strategy, Waze UK
Two people in purple posing in the garden of a corporate buildings
Nadia Loren & Mariana Silva - Ambassadors at Broadgate/Wilson James
A person in high vis poses in front of ornate blue, purple and teal gates
Sue Gossedge - Market Constable, Smithfield Market
A group of people posing on the steps
Trans Action
Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury
Yvette Forrester & Lucinda Wakefield - BNY Mellon, Allies
Yvette Forrester & Lucinda Wakefield — BNY Mellon, Allies
Paul Edwards — Head of Legal, British Land
Paul Donovan — Chief Economist, UBS Wealth Management
Bhasha Laad — Audit Assistant Manager, Mazars
Tyne O'Connell — Author, and Daniel Lismore — Artist
Freddie Barker — Investment Advisor, UBS Wealth Management
Ghada Shawki —Head of Digital, Experience & Brand, Interxion
Peter Tatchell — LGBT+ and Human Rights Campaigner

CorporateQueer is in Guildhall Yard in the City, every day from 24 June-2 July 2023. Entry is free.