As gay men in the property industry , David Mann MBE , Partner at Tuffin Ferraby Taylor , and Saleem Fazal MBE , Real Estate Partner at Taylor Wessing , have faced their fair share of struggles in the workplace but they believe there is plenty to be hopeful for in the future . Last month marked 19 years since the first LGBTQ + History Month , which gave them a chance to reflect on the gains made for LGBTQ + people in the workplace and the work still to be done . Mann and Fazal founded Freehold , a networking forum for LGBTQ + professionals working within the real estate sector , and in this article , they focus on their personal journeys .
Everyone deserves to feel safe at their place of work , no matter who they are . Remember , few of us spend as much time anywhere else during the day as we do at work . And if you don ’ t feel safe at work , it will start to impact your overall physical , mental and social well-being .
But as the title of this article suggests , we are not here to focus on the negatives . As gay men in the property industry , we have faced our fair share of struggles but want to show others out there why they should be full of hope . With all the negativity in the news and elsewhere it ' s easy to forget the positives . With that , we would like to take you on our personal journeys , as we delve into what fantastic steps have already been taken in our industry and why we want to continue this journey with as many by our side as possible .
Building support to help people be out and open
When we decided to form Freehold , it was because we ’ d both been in that position of feeling like we needed to hide our sexuality . In fact , it was only after bumping into each other in a gay bar that we each realised the other was gay ! This is not to say that we were unhappy , we were both successful in our careers and other aspects of our lives . The issue we found was that we had to keep our successes separate and our identities too . This led to living a double life and never feeling completely confident in either . We were accepting a self-imposed compromise and