After a successful 20 year career as an Executive Branch officer in the Royal Navy, Patrick immersed himself in voluntary work helping set up the gay men’s health group in Portsmouth, working as a volunteer on the Residential Unit of London Lighthouse and as Chair of Rank Outsiders which, with Stonewall and others successfully took the Government to the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the ban on LGBT+ people being able to serve in the military.
Various roles in management and marketing followed and today Patrick heads up communications and fundraising for the UK’s main Veterans housing charity as well as 6 years as a director of GMFA, co-founder of Pride in London and, for 5 years, their Director of Community Engagement, Chair of the unsuccessful AIDS Memorial Campaign and, latterly, Secretary of Merton’s LGBT+ Forum.
Today he is Chair of the new Military LGBT+ charity, Fighting With Pride and lives with his Slovakian husband.
What does your identity mean to you?
Today it is very important to me: in my first career it was a crime to be LGBT+ and I had to live a double life, only first gaining a partner when I was well into my 30’s. I later learnt that he was HIV+ and so I decided to forego my professional career to be able to live openly with him. Being required to give a year’s notice, he then died two days before my last day in my job, with none of my colleagues being any the wiser. That has shaped me ever since: I have lived wholly out from that day, proud – and able to live a better life where, I hope, I have been able to make a difference for those less fortunate than myself.