Here are just a few inspiring and progressive examples of where LGBT+ history has been made in recent months at Loughborough:
- June 2021: Doctoral Prize Fellow Dr Chris McLeod was elected as the new Chair of the LGBT+ Staff Network. His desire and passion to increase the Network’s visibility, engage in higher-level strategic planning and introduce a new structure to the Network has been widely recognised across the institution.
- September 2021: The Staff Network established a committee consisting of roles focusing on projects, collaborations, and being able to represent and champion the identities of those within our LGBT+ community.
- From September 2021: The LGBT+ Staff Network have been an instrumental group in encouraging Departments across the University to use pronouns on staff profiles on the University’s website. As part of this effort, additional pages were created to raise awareness of different pronouns and why it’s important to use them correctly.
- December 2021: Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign was re-established at Loughborough, with hundreds of laces sold and many of the Athletic Union sport clubs getting involved to show their support for LGBT+ people in sport.
This month, the LGBT+ Student Association will be running a number of events, including a Re-Meet and Greet at the Treehouse (Students’ Union Building) from 7pm-9pm on 7 February. They will also be hosting OUT, an annual celebration party with the best gay anthems and camp vibes.
In collaboration with LU Arts, staff, students and members of the public are invited to attend Crafting Identity. Running from 15 February – 4 March in the Martin Hall Exhibition Space, all are welcome to drop-in and get crafty to create something unique for their exhibition wall inspired by LGBT+ history. From badge making, tote bag decorating to friendship bracelets, there will also be numerous workshops to tag along to. Further information will be available soon.
Members of the LGBT+ Staff Network will also contribute to a small series of blog posts throughout the month, sharing their personal experiences and thoughts on what LGBT+ History Month means to them.
Dr Chris McLeod commented: “LGBT+ History Month is a very important time for the LGBT+ community. It’s a moment to celebrate and reflect on the progress we have made for LGBT+ rights and to remember the people who sacrificed so much for us to be where we are today. While we continue to make incremental progress to improve the experience of LGBT+ people on our campuses, it is incredibly important to remember how far we have come in this country in such a short space of time, to not take this for granted and acknowledge the places around the world where such progress has not yet been possible.”
The dedicated LGBT+ History Month website can be viewed here.
The LGBT+ Staff Network is open to any staff member at Loughborough University, Loughborough Students’ Union or who works for a Loughborough University campus partner and identifies as LGBT+ or wishes to be an ally to this community (someone who aligns with and supports the LGBT+ community). The LGBT+ Staff Network also welcomes students who feel more akin to staff than students. If you would like to join the LGBT+ Staff Network mailing list or would like to discuss anything LGBT+-related please email email@example.com or contact the Chair, Dr Chris McLeod.