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We’re celebrating LGBT+ History Month

31st January 2019

Northumbria is loud and proud when it comes to supporting our LGBTQ* community.

February is LGBT+ History month and Northumbria is celebrating its diversity and inclusivity with a special programme of LGBTQ* events. Over the next few weeks, workshops, seminars, taster sessions and talks will be taking place across the University featuring nationally renowned speakers and experts. The programme of events has been coordinated by the LGBTQ* Steering Group, LGBTQ* Network, and LGBTQ* Society of the Students’ Union.

Headline speakers include Cat Hudson, Chief of Staff for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s Consumer Healthcare function and a Northumbria alumna. Cat was ranked 9th by the Financial Times as one of their future global LGBT+ business leaders and will be discussing the approach of global companies to supporting the LGBT community. Also speaking at Northumbria during LGBT+ History Month is Stonewall champion Phillippa Scrafton, Northumbria PhD student and researcher Cameron Giles, and academic and activist Dr Sen Raj from Keele University.

Northumbria’s Head of Governance, Adam Dawkins, is also Chair of the University’s LGBTQ* Steering Group and explains why it is more important than ever for individuals and organisations to join together in support of the LGBTQ* community.

“The University Executive and the Board are delighted that LGBT+ History Month is not just being actively promoted but celebrated at Northumbria University.”

He added: “The national theme for LGBT+ History Month this year is ‘Peace, Activism and Reconciliation’. This combination of conditions and responses is more relevant than ever in a climate where we are seeing examples of hard-fought LGBTQ* rights eroded both in the UK and overseas.

“We look forward to welcoming all colleagues, students and visiting speakers at our events and encourage everyone to read and share the wider information developed for LGBTQ+ History Month on our website.”

Adam is also one of the University’s new LGBTQ* role models and you can read his story and others here. You can also find out more about Northumbria’s LGBTQ* Network and LGBT* Society by visiting our Equality and Diversity web pages here.

LGBT+ History Month

LGBT+ History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBT+ History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT* community. The overall aim of LGBT+ History month is to promote equality and diversity for the benefit of the public.

This is done by:

  • Increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people, their history, lives and their experiences in the curriculum and culture of educational and other institutions, and the wider community;
  • Raising awareness and advancing education on matters affecting the LGBT+ community;
  • Working to make educational and other institutions safe spaces for all LGBT+ communities; and
  • Promoting the welfare of LGBT+ people, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole.

Supporting Northumbria’s LGBTQ* community

Over the next few weeks you may notice Northumbria University branded rainbow lanyards being worn by staff. The rainbow lanyards are available to staff who wish to visibly support the LGBTQ* community (whether that is colleagues, staff, students or visitors) by becoming an LGBTQ* ally.

As an ally for LGBTQ* staff and students you would be committing to:

  • supporting LGBTQ* staff and students to be themselves
  • educating yourself about LGBTQ* histories and concerns   
  • never be a bystander to harassment or discrimination
  • familiarise yourself with LGBTQ* language

If you would like to wear a LGBTQ* rainbow lanyard they will be available to collect, or request, from the Organisational Development team ( based in the ground floor of Pandon Building from the 1 February 2019.

Northumbria will be announcing more events for LGBT+ History Month throughout February, including an ‘Out Beyond University’ careers session and taster sessions led by the LGBTQ* Society of Students. Keep checking our Equality and Diversity and LGBTQ* Network pages for more news and updates.

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