Real life experiences

Understanding the perspectives and lived experiences of other people can help us to be more empathetic and inclusive and to consider things from new perspectives.

Below are some real life stories.

On being transgender

From the Stonewall Workplace Conference 2015, Ayla Holdom talks of her experience as being the first openly trans pilot in the military (19 minutes): 


On managing mental health issues in the workplace

From the Time to Change personal stories webpage, a blog entitled '5 things I wish people understood about managing mental illness at work'

On coming out as gay

Stonewall have lots of advice on coming out. You can also read inspiring coming out stoies at

“Jak’s story”, promoted by Stonewall (4 minutes):

Mandy McBain's International Women's Day 2016 talk

Mandy is a Client Account Manager for Stonewall and through her work with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Equality Charity and alongside her involvement with the Armed Services and UK Security Services, Mandy has become a passionate advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion.

She was awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year Honours list for her contributions to the inclusivity agenda for the Naval Service and developed the first Naval Service Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum which received formal recognition in the Service and helped to develop other minority networks which remain today.

Mandy became an Honorary Graduate of Exeter in July 2015.


This video illustrates how gender bias starts in childhood.

If you have any real life stories you would like to share on this site, please contact us.