As part of our LGBTQ+ History month activities, we were delighted to engage in conversation with Holby City star David Ames.

The theme for this year's LGBTQ+ History Month was "Behind the Lens" - celebrating the LGBTQ+ community working within TV and film and after nine years of saving on the screen lives as Dominic Copeland, on the popular BBC series Holby City, David provided an engaging and inspiring talk about his own lived experiences as a gay actor and overcoming challenges during his career.

David shared how the entertainment industry has evolved over the last 20 years, with key storylines raising awareness of sensitive topics. During his stint on Holby City, we saw David's character Dom suffer emotional and physical abuse from his partner. With society acknowledging the importance of sensitive and informed portrayals of the topic of domestic abuse, we were given an opportunity to revisit some of David's hardest scenes to film in the series. In the same way, we were able to look at how the experience of playing an abused character has informed the way he builds his real life relationships and perhaps changed the way he views what a healthy relationship looks like.

After leaving Holby City, David made a triumphant return to the London stage as Steven in Seven Dials Playhouse's premiere production of Steve, starring alongside Olivier Award winner Jenna Russell. Throughout David's career, he has been a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, taking on roles that reflect the real everyday challenges the community faces. As well as returning to acting on stage, David has also been experimenting with stand-up comedy, short films and has made appearances on various podcasts including The Time Capsule and Up Close with Carlos Tseng.

In a world where the everyday realities of LGBTQ+ individuals are challenged, there was a something very powerful about David's sense of pride in his identity and the importance of acknowledging others as they want to present themselves, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation. Our internal LGBTQ+ network felt particularly empowered by David's words of encouragement.

As a Firm we continue to review how we can best support our LGBTQ+ colleagues and the wider community and were delighted to be awarded a Gold Award and Highly Commended Network for the second year running in the 2023 Stonewall Equality Index. The Firm also ascended 21 places in the Stonewall's Top 100 Employer's List, ranking 32nd, recognising the Firm's commitment to being an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer.