Being out, staying in: Andrew

Andrew Crumpton
Image from Andrew Crumpton
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
13 September 2020

Andrew Crumpton is the retail transition lead at Virgin Money. He’s also chair of the LGBT network, Vibrant, at the company and was named Role Model of the Year by Stonewall Scotland this year.

We spoke to him about his experiences in the workplace as an LGBT person and how he’ll be celebrating Pride this year.

What has been your experience of being an LGBT person in the workplace?

At Virgin, you're definitely encouraged to be yourself. It's easy to be yourself at Virgin Money because you are encouraged to think outside the box and do the right thing. And it's also fun, there's a lot of opportunities to get involved in our network and we're given space and time to get involved in the network, which is important. Virgin is really good at making sure that everyone has the opportunity to be listened to.

Image from Andrew Crumpton
Image from Andrew Crumpton

What does Pride mean to you?

It means fun, and learning and coming together.

Pride should always be enjoyable, you should always learn something new because if you haven't learnt anything it's pointless going. And it should be a chance to come together - and I'm talking about absolutely everyone coming together. The thing I really love and what Pride really means to me is seeing so many different people - different backgrounds, different ages, everything - coming together, having fun, learning and listening to each other.

How do you normally celebrate Pride?

I always go to Glasgow Pride and I normally try to go to at least one other Pride event around the world. I've been to Reyjavik, San Francisco, New York, LA, Manchester, London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Paris and Madrid.

In Glasgow, I meet up with my friends and my family and we'll march in the parade with a group from work. We'll get involved and try to get other people who are not part of the parade involved. I love talking to people and getting to know them.

Image from Andrew Crumpton
Image from Andrew Crumpton

One of the best things about travelling for a Pride event in another country is that being Scottish I get to wear my kilt and represent my country. The people in Reyjavik were so friendly and they go all out. Their city is beautiful and it's all painted in rainbows. I made amazing friends for life there. The whole city, if not the whole country, comes together to celebrate Pride. In some places you still see a bit of a divide between people who are celebrating and those who aren't but in Reyjavik everyone is there celebrating.

What will Pride look like this year for you?

With in-person events cancelled, I think it will be lots and lots of video conferences. I'll be sharing posts and trying to keep in contact with everybody and keep their spirits up. Glasgow Pride has been delayed until potentially September so it might still go ahead, we don't know.

So this year will be about trying to make a difference to people through video conferences and online events and trying to keep them engaged.

Image from Andrew Crumpton
Image from Andrew Crumpton

We're trying to work out what we'll be able to do in person because in Scotland because the rules are a bit different here at the moment. We can only meet people outside and a maximum of eight people from two households. The hope is that we'll still get to do something in person, but the reality is that might be virtual drinks online.

Read more about how Richard Branson has supported the LGBT+ community over the years.