Matt Lindley

One of the First-Ever Openly Gay RAF Pilots & a Pioneer of LGBT+ Military Personnel

  • One of the RAFs first openly gay pilots
  • Specialised as a VIP Flying Captain transporting the Royal Family and UK Prime Minister
  • Worked as Director of Propel Performance for British Airways
  • Has given a popular TED talk – Fear: Fight or Flight
  • An inspirational advocate for the LGBT+ community

One of the RAF’s first-ever openly gay pilots, Matt Lindley overcame huge amounts of homophobia and discrimination to achieve his dreams. Having reached the very top of his profession, Matt became one of the organisation’s most valuable assets and was entrusted with the transportation of Royal family members and the Prime Minister. Away from the RAF and Matt has also been a long-haul pilot for British Airways as well as working as the company’s Director of Propel Performance. He’s also become an inspirational virtual speaker offering transformative talks about how to overcome adversity and achieve your dreams.

When Matt first joined the RAF in 1995, he should have been overjoyed by the realisation of a childhood dream. Instead, he was faced with a big dilemma. With homosexuality forbidden in the military at the time, he went on to pioneer a huge culture shift in the organisation. Alongside his flying, he helped the RAF adapt. And while he was faced with abhorrent abuse in the process, he slowly saw them become more tolerant and finally accept gay pilots. During his virtual speaking engagements, he can discuss this, highlighting the abuse he experienced while explaining how he never gave up on his dream. Being a virtual speaker gives him the opportunity to reach greater numbers with his moving story, teaching people how to remain defiant in the face of discrimination.

Recently he has continued his work with British Airways where he combined his impeccable flying experience with a more strategic role where he works with senior personnel on how to improve the workplace for pilots and reduce errors.

Having worked as a keynote speaker for TED Talks, The New York Times, and many more. He’s transitioned to the world of virtual speaking with ease bringing a functional mix of real-life skills, inspiring anecdotes, and interactive exercises.

Most recently, Matt Lindley was inducted into the Top Virtual Speakers Available to Hire, a testament to his bravery throughout both his career and his personal life.

Official Testimonials

Matt Lindley is regularly booked to engage audiences at virtual events, read their latest feedback below:

“A very informative presentation – it was highly enjoyable learning about experiences from other industries and how lessons learnt elsewhere can be applied in the legal workplace”

“Matt is a very engaging speaker who really knows his stuff – he uses diverse case studies across sectors to illustrate his points expertly well. I left the training as if I had really learnt something”


“A refreshing and engaging training session dealing with some of the softer skills which are often overlooked by the industry”


“It was brilliant – he was great, super engaging and people were hanging on his every word, even on Zoom! Have had some great feedback already, so we are really pleased.”

Charlotte, JP Morgan

“The delivery by Matt was exceptional, his take on his experiences in the RAF really hit the mark and his humour/story telling was appreciated by so many. From those that I have discussed this with they were extremely impressed with his presentation, there was so much contained within it that it really gave food for thought on how the RAF was then and how it is now. His range was truly amazing from his sexuality, his drive and motivation, mental health and leadership (being able to listen) everyone listening was able to take something from it. Truly remarkable and in all honesty I so glad we could have him deliver for us.”

Paul, RAFC Cranwell

To enquire about Matt Lindley for your next virtual event or webinar, simply contact The Online Speakers Agency via or call a booking agent on 0203 9317 391.