20 years ago, I was Patrycja. A quiet, private person, with low confidence and not very sociable. As I couldn’t be me, the true me, I was at a place in my life where all I wanted to do is scream.

A few years ago I managed to speak out and say “I am gay”. It was as though a massive weight was lifted from my shoulders. I felt great for the first time in ages. I didn’t have to hide my personal life, what I was doing on weekends or who I was with anymore. At work I was accepted, and I had the support of some amazing colleagues who helped me throughout my journey. I was able to become a better version of myself, both in my private and working life. When I look at myself in the mirror now, I feel proud, confident, outspoken and resilient.

We all have journeys and stories to share. Why am I sharing mine? Every year people across the world celebrate “Pride” LGBT+, diversity, equality and inclusivity. This year, in 2021, we are going to celebrate this on four of our own Shell forecourts, which is simply amazing. Being just “you”, whoever that may be, is so important and needed in the world. Don’t be afraid. It’s hard at first but let me tell you – it’s amazing when those doors open. And if you feel like people are judging you, don’t allow it to get you down. There will always be certain people that don’t understand and those are the ones that don’t really matter.

Sexuality is not a choice, it’s who you are and embrace it. Be proud, be gay, be you. I am Patsy, I am me, and I am proud! Tattoos, blue hair – this is me!


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