On 28 June 1970, the first Pride event took place in New York following the Stonewall Uprising, where individuals came together to protest against police brutality to LGBT+ people. And just a few years later, the first-ever Pride March began in London.
Loughborough University recognises and champions the diversity of its students, staff and alumni, which is why it proudly supports our University LGBT+ community and LGBT+ people from around the world. Pride Month is also an opportunity to acknowledge the incredible impact LGBT+ individuals have had globally and within our institution.
However, it is also a time to take stock and realise that, although great progress has been made, there are many LGBT+ people who still face discrimination because of their gender or sexuality and that there is more we can do to improve the lives of LGBT+ people, be it on our campuses, across the UK and around the world.
Below, you can read more information about our Staff Network, our Student Association, and some of the events taking place this month.
About our Staff LGBT+ Network
The LGBT+ Staff Group strives to be champions of inclusivity and diversity by providing support for LGBT+ staff and aiming to influence positive changes across the institution. One of their goals is also to work towards Loughborough University being a truly inclusive and safe environment for all LGBT+ people.
The group has recently announced a new Chair – Dr Chris McLeod, a University Teacher in Psychology and previous Loughborough student. During his time as a student, Chris was also the LGBT+ Association Chair between 2017-2019.
Speaking about his new position and Pride Month, Chris commented: “I’m incredibly grateful to have been voted into the Chair role of our LGBT+ Staff Group and to have the opportunity to lead on improving the experience of LGBT+ people on our campuses.
“As we make a big drive in our institutional strategy towards equality, diversity and inclusion work, I look forward to working with colleagues to meaningfully consult with LGBT+ staff to understand their nuanced difficulties and experiences, and to drive a progressive change agenda. Pride Month is a great opportunity to consider how far society and structures have come over the last 50 years; however, it’s also a time to consider what further steps need to be taken and to advocate for this change to occur.”
The Staff Network has their own blog, which often includes posts written by members. The most recent piece – by Stephen Ashurst – discusses the impact of Eddie Izzard and her openness on gender identity over the years and how it has inspired individuals such as Stephen. You can read the post here.
About our LGBT+ Association
Loughborough Students’ Union’s LGBT+ Association is a support network for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or any other denominations of gender and sexuality.
Throughout the year, they host a range of events and initiatives from socials to educational workshops. They also have four subgroups: Transform, Embrace, Outspoken, and Out in Education.
The Chair for the 2020/21 academic year has been Eva Go, and applications for the position for the next academic year have recently closed.
The role is responsible for representing the voices of all LGBT+ students and leading the committee to create events, spaces and methods of activism for the LGBT+ community. To find out more information about the LGBT+ Association, take a look at their Facebook page.
Events in June
This month, the University will be hosting two events:
- Doing and performing gender and sex: Sociological Perspectives on the sex-gender distinction – 2pm-3pm, 17 June
This talk will give an overview of the development of different sociological approaches to sex and gender, and emphasises the importance of intersectional analyses. The event will be presented by Dr Line Nyhagen and has been arranged by Unison for all staff and students.
- LGBT+ Pride March – 12.45pm-2pm, 24 June
Our annual LGBT+ Pride March – which has been organised by the Loughborough University LGBT+ Staff Group and the LSU LGBT+ Association – welcomes all LGBT+ people and allies to march together across the Loughborough campus to highlight issues facing LGBT+ people around the world, and to celebrate the progress that has been made since the first Pride March in 1970.
For those who are interested in learning more about the history of LGBT+ rights and equality, you can view Stonewall’s timeline beginning from the 1950s here. Alternatively, you can watch this video by King’s College London about the history of LGBT+ rights in the UK from as early as the 16th century.