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LGBT+ History Month role models: Benjamin Cross

15 Feb 2024 | Benjamin Cross


To celebrate LGBT+ History Month, throughout February we are featuring Q&As with some key role models. Vet Benjamin Cross shares his experiences working in the veterinary profession.

LGBT+ History Month role models: Benjamin Cross Image

What inspired your path into the veterinary profession?

Like many vets, I had a love for animals since I was very young. I had a slightly roundabout path to the profession, and after struggling with my own pets’ passing when I was little, I initially pursued psychology at university. Though I found psychology fascinating (and still do, given my love of animal behaviour!), work in the field just wasn’t captivating me, and I started working as a trainee vet tech in New York. I found myself loving my job, keen to go in each day and happy even when I stayed late, doing all I could to help our patients. I applied to vet school and never looked back.


What has been the most challenging part of your career?

Finding a good work-life balance has been a challenge, particularly in a field where I’m sure many of us struggle to take care of our own health and wellbeing. We always want to do the best for our patients. It’s important to remember that to do that, we need to take care of ourselves first. This really became clear to me after some health issues myself and some of my loved ones have experienced in recent years, so I’ve been trying hard to better achieve that balance for myself so that I can continue to give the best care for my patients and avoid burnout.


What has been the best part of your career so far?

Getting involved with various veterinary groups has been really rewarding, giving me both the opportunity to meet with other people and a chance to contribute to the profession. BVLGBT+ has been a wonderful group to be involved with, particularly to help colleagues and students across the profession as well as social events such as participating in Pride events. I’ve also been involved with the British Veterinary Union and their equalities team as LGBT+ rep, giving me opportunities again to help colleagues and to learn, and with the British Veterinary Behaviour Association to help further education of animal behaviour.


What advice would you offer to someone experiencing difficulty with their sexuality or gender identity?

I think one of the biggest things is to reach out and speak with someone. Whether that be a friend, a family member, or reaching out to an LGBT+ group or support line like Vetlife. Remember that you’re not alone, and everyone’s journey is unique. There’s no ‘right way’ to be LGBT+, just be yourself. This can be easier said than done, but there are people who will love and support you no matter what. The first step can be the hardest, but it can lead to a wonderful adventure!

Further reading on LGBT+ History Month, BVLGBT+ and Vetlife

Head to LGBT+ History Month and British Veterinary LGBT+ Society to learn more.

Vetlife offer independent, confidential and free help for everyone in the veterinary community including veterinary nurses, students and non-clinical staff. If you or anyone you know is after support, Vetlife is here for you.


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