We have an inclusive and open environment in the department and the University takes its equality responsibilities seriously, but there is always more that can be done to ensure that all colleagues and students feel included and that they can be themselves whether working or studying. So when an invitation went out to attend an LGBT+ Allies workshop and become an LGBT+ Ally, I was keen to take part. I know from LGBT+ relatives and friends that coming out isn’t something that is done once, it’s a continuing process and anything more we can do to make the workplace somewhere where people can truly be themselves, is important. The training workshop was excellent and informative, and challenged assumptions about gender and sexual orientation. Some of the statistics we were given show that there is still more to be done to ensure equality. For example, it was concerning to learn that one in four LGB people are not at all open about their sexual orientation at work, that nearly two thirds of graduates go back into the closet when they enter the job market, and that one third of trans respondents have experienced at least one form of bullying or harassment on their campus. We were encouraged to do small things that signal that Oxford is an LGBT+ welcoming environment, so the first thing I did after the workshop was to put an LBGT+ flag postcard on every notice board in the department. Small actions make a difference!
If you are interested in attending the workshop and becoming an Ally, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org