Mohsin Zaidi

Author, lawyer
Mohsin Zaidi

Mohsin Zaidi is an award-winning author, commentator and lawyer. His critically acclaimed coming of age memoir, A Dutiful Boy (Penguin, 2020) describes his upbringing in a strict Muslim household and having to come to terms with the fact that he is gay.

The Guardian described it as ‘a profound meditation on the power of the human heart to transcend the contradictions of diverse cultures and create something new…utterly compelling…providing a lesson of acceptance for us all, and for the future of our multicultural society’. The Times says it is a book that will save lives.

It was named a Guardian, GQ and New Statesman Book of the Year and won the prestigious Lambda Literary Award.

The first person from his school to go to Oxford University, Mohsin qualified as a lawyer at international firm Linklaters, and is currently a criminal barrister at one of the top chambers in England. He has also previously worked at a UN War Crimes tribunal in The Hague and as Judicial Assistant to Lord Sumption and Lord Wilson at the UK’s Supreme Court.

An advocate for LGBT rights, BAME representation and social mobility, Mohsin sits on the board of Stonewall and is listed by The Financial Times as a top future LGBT leader.

A regular commentator on Sky News, he also writes for CNN Style, The i Newspaper, Bustle, Mr Porter and Newsweek.

Mohsin’s keynote topics include:

Mental Health –  Mohsin addresses the stigma around mental health within ethnic minority communities and draws a parallel between it and a cultural stigma around discussing mental wellbeing in the workplace. Through very personal and at times harrowing tales, Mohsin articulates the case for honesty in personal identity within yourself but also at work and amongst colleagues.  

Social mobility – While measures of equity on race/gender/sexuality move in the right direction, the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. Through personal experience of growing up in a council house and going to a school ridden with gang violence (a school from which he became the person to go to Oxford University), Mohsin addresses the issue of class bias and discusses what we can do about it. 

D&I / Intersectionality – None of us are just one thing and Mohsin is the personification of an intersectional life. On race, Mohsin has the facts and figures to back up the experiences of ethnic minorities we so often hear about in the news. On class, he speaks candidly about the difference between the world he came from and the world he now lives in. On sexuality, he describes the struggle to accept yourself in the face of cultural stigma. But the strength in his experience lies in the intersectional tale it tells. 

Watch Mohsin’s speaking showreel here:​

Mohsin Zaidi

Mohsin Zaidi