February is LGBT History Month

The University has a great tradition of celebrating its diverse community and in February we turn the spotlight to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans staff and students by marking LGBT+ History Month.

We have celebrated this important month every year since 2010 with a variety of events, awareness raising activities and calls to action to mark the contribution and importance of this community not only to our history, but to our present and future activities.

With the theme on ‘Politics in Art’ we’ll be celebrating the month with this in mind. The entire programme will be delivered on line, meaning we can reach more people, engage with all of our population and make sure the message of awareness is heard as widely as possible.

Last year we kicked of the month by asking people to display their pronouns on email signatures and video calls. This was gratefully received by many people from the LGBT+ community and significant for our non-binary colleagues who felt this was easy step made by many staff which immediately made them feel validated and included in the University Community. We’re using this as a way to launch events for 2022 – when people include their pronouns in their email signatures or on video calling platforms like Zoom or Teams, it helps normalise the practice and is an easy way to prevent mis-gendering. It also helps demonstrate the point that whether someone is cis or trans, their pronouns should never be assumed and that an individual has the right to be referred to with the correct pronoun. We’re also collaborating with the NHS trust and LGBT+ Foundation to deliver a session on ‘navigating the pronouns landscape’

Our other events will take a look at different aspects of LGBT+ inclusion – how allies can support the LGBT+ community. We’ll also look at intersectionality through the screening of a documentary and subsequent discussion and members of our alumni community will join a panel discussion to talk about the theme ‘Politics in Art’

There’s a lighter side too. We’ll be raising awareness through sport and activity, encouraging everyone to wear their best rainbow colours to work out and the month is rounded off by our traditional quiz where our host tests people’s knowledge across many LGBT+ related subjects (and more)!

All events are FREE and open to staff, students and our community.