Statement in Response to the Use of Anti-LGBT+ Language by Members of the University of Nottingham

It has been brought to our attention that a recently published article written by a member of UoN academic staff included transphobic language.

This highlights the pressing need for LGBT+ welfare and accountability training for those with students under their care. This is not just necessary for staff, but for sports teams, societies, and other student groups and networks.

The university has done a reasonable job so far in implementing welfare systems across university life. However, part of this welfare needs to be LGBT+ specific.

University is often one of the first places that LGBT+ students are able to be themselves, but it should also be recognised that many others are not able to be open about that aspect of their identity. Regardless, every student’s identity deserves to be respected. Derogatory comments and behaviours can have a negative impact on these students’ well-being, thus preventing these and, in turn, protecting their mental health and welfare should be a top priority.

We recognise that sometimes people are simply unaware that certain language is inherently offensive and ought not be used today even if it may have been used in the past. This is why we are stressing the importance of this being a matter of education.

The LGBT+ Welfare and accountability training would include:
– The addressing and removal of archaic, homophobic, transphobic, and other LGBT+-phobic derogatory language from everyday discourse.
– Informing people of the correct terminology to use and how to use it.
– Ensuring that discourse surrounding biology, sex, and reproduction is inclusive of LGBT+ people.
– Making students aware of the LGBT+ resources that are already available and how these can be obtained anonymously without their identity being disclosed.
– Letting people know where they can direct students with concerns of an LGBT+ nature to go for their welfare needs to be met. This would involve information concerning LGBT+ specific mental, physical, and sexual health.
– Informing students of how they can report LGBT+ specific discrimination and hate crimes involving verbal, physical, psychological, and emotional abuse.

Discriminatory language of any nature should not be used or circulated in academic or colloquial discourse, and as a network we take the welfare of LGBT+ students seriously.

We hope to be able to work effectively with the Student’s Union, staff, societies, sports teams and networks to get this training off the ground.

In the meantime, if anyone needs any LGBT+ related support or has experienced something that they wish to privately disclose, email welfare at lgbt+welfare@nottingham.ac.uk

Additionally, if anyone has any further questions regarding the training, email the LGBT+ Officer at lgbtofficer@nottingham.ac.uk

Kind regards,

UoNSU LGBT+ Network Committee

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Bisexuality Awareness Day

I’m sure many people from the LGBT+ community understand that you are frequently
asked/challenged about your sexuality and gender identities. I’m going to (light-heartedly) share some of the questions I have received about my sexuality, and the kind of thing us bisexuals receive on the regular:
“So which one do you prefer?”
“Isn’t it easier to just be straight?”
“So when did you know you liked both?”
“Are you just experimenting?”
“Oh but you’re going to pick gay or straight right?”
“… Threesome?”
Now, whilst it is possible to take these questions humorously, sometimes it is quite frankly just annoying. Let’s imagine a straight person being asked something along the lines of “Are you sure you’re straight?” Sound ludicrous, right? And yet it seems acceptable to ask a bisexual such questions. So, here are some answers to commonly asked questions:
The whole “preference” thing doesn’t work/apply to everyone
I’ve known basically my entire life
No, I’m not just experimenting
No, I’m not going to pick a “side”
No, it’s not easier to be straight. This is a part of my identity, I know my sexuality and I would rather live as my true self rather than trying to deny my sexuality.
There is a difference between politely asking to educate yourself and ignorantly asking rude questions. Remember, it is ok to ask, but do so respectfully and politely. Also the threesome is not happening.
Lots of bi love,
Paige Roden, General Secretary & Treasurer at University of Nottingham’s LGBT+ Network