We caught up with Jose after Rainbow Laces week

The people behind sky posted on 4 Apr

We caught up with Jose after Rainbow Laces week

I used to hide my sexuality in the workplace in the false belief that it was best for my career. Thinking that not talking about my private life would never be an issue in a work environment – at the end of the day we should just focus on our job, right? It certainly helped me avoid awkward chats for some time, but I also became more and more disengaged from my colleagues and therefore disengaged with my job. Through the years I’ve learnt to force myself to open up and be more proactive when disclosing that I’m gay, and it’s been somehow easier in some places rather than others. I’ve never worked in such an inclusive environment. Here we celebrate that everyone’s different in their own way.

That’s why – I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with the Rainbow laces campaign. I’ve been rowing with the only LGBT Rowing Club in the UK, London Otters for over a year. I started with their learn-to-row courses, progressed through different squads and I am now Deputy Captain for land training activities. It’s been one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences in my life. I really wanted to showcase the work the club does in beating homophobia in competitive sports and celebrating inclusion by welcoming everybody that wanted to row or learn how to row.

We came with the idea of hosting a regatta within the Rainbow Laces week in which our squads would race against each other in different colours with each boat forming a rainbows: the Rainbow Races.

When I asked the LGBT network for support they put me in contact with Jon Holmes, Editor at Sky Sports Digital who featured us on the webpage secured some coverage within Sky Sport News in just a couple of days. I couldn’t believe how supportive and willing everyone’s been. They just saw the value in helping other people and made it happen!

As a result of that, some of our members told their stories on how the club has helped them, you can read a little more here: http://www.skysports.com/more-sports/news/29877/11156413/rainbow-laces-how-the-london-otters-lgbt-rowing-club-brings-people-back-to-sport