The University of Birmingham’s LGBTQ is up and running! In common with many other organisations, Allies identity themselves with lanyards, postcards and email signatures. Birmingham was keen that wearing an official lanyard should mean something. In June, I ran two pilot sessions come focus groups and recently ran another for Life and Environmental Sciences , one of the five Colleges of the university. The workshop included:
– an open discussion about terminology and key questions from participants based on the principle of ‘no such things as a stupid question’
– background to the road to LGBTQ equality in terms of the law and social attitudes
– research and anecdotal evidence showing that staff and students still face discrimination and lack of understanding
– the role of an Ally fro the basic: be able to explain the reason wearing a lanyard to being able to signpost people to sources of support and information to initiating practical changes in their work area.
Further sessions are planned for the other Colleges and for any university staff.