From a design apprenticeship, to train dispatching and now conducting for Southern, Mags Luckhurst has gained experience in a range of roles since joining the railway in 2018. They’re sharing their story for LGBT History Month.

“When we started planning for Pride Month at the start of 2019, I thought it would be really cool if we could wrap one of our trains to bring people joy, whilst celebrating the LGBT+ community. I didn’t know what was possible at the time, but I was determined to make it happen.”

Mags, 24, helped to bring the Thameslink Class 700 ‘trainbow’ to life ahead of Brighton & Hove Pride 2019.

“I absolutely loved being part of the design team but in February 2020, I took the opportunity to become a train dispatcher. It was a good experience and helped me take my first steps into the operational side of the business, which led me to into conducting in July 2021.”

Mags is part of Southern’s internal LGBT+ Network, which is celebrating LGBT History Month with a dedicated webinar for colleagues on 18thFebruary, in addition to the re-introduction of social events, helping to bring people in the network together.

“It’s great that LGBT+ issues are being spoken about more openly these days. There’s a long way to go, but something that’s important to me is the use of pronouns. Over the years, I’ve realised I don’t fit into the typical female or male stereotype.

“I use ‘they’ rather than he or she because it means I don’t have to commit to one or the other. It’s a safe option and I’m well aware that not everyone will understand this. We’re all unique and people have different preferences on how they like to present themselves to the world. It’s part of who we are, and, although I’d never force anyone to use my preferred pronoun, I feel it is a sign of courtesy to respect these preferences.”

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