With Pride month beginning, we wanted to share with you some of the events we have going on to celebrate Pride as well as allyship tips and a reflection on the past year from your LGBTQ+ Executive Officer.
To kick off Pride Month, we have a Pronoun Badge Making Session on Wednesday 1 June from 1-3pm in The Lounge at the High Wycombe Campus, giving you the chance to create a personalised pronoun and ally badge to wear. We have all of the materials all you need to do is come along.
If you don’t want to make your own badge then don't worry, we now have pronoun and ally badges on the Help Your Shelf at High Wycombe, front desk at Uxbridge, and in Basin Café at Aylesbury so that you can pick up a badge to show your ally ship. We are encouraging both students and staff to wear badges.
If you'd like to know a little more about pronouns and what they mean, why not have a read of a previous student-led campaign highlighting their importance?
Reflections from Claire Sessions, LGBTQ+ Officer 2021-2022
This year I believe the society have helped increase LGBTQ+ visibility by getting involved in community volunteering. I’ve started to build a local network to identity safe spaces for LGBTQIA people and set up the Womens, LGBTQIA and Trans* WhatsApp groups with other universities who were at the National Union of Students National Conference this year. I’ve already started to build a regional EDI network and we have 5 universities already in talks about that, as well as inclusivity in sport with British University and College Sport.?
The ally and LGBTQIA badges are a massive hit and I’m sure the pronoun ones will be too and we’re working towards building the society collaborations for next year.
The biggest win for us is that when there are questions around inclusion etc people do come and ask. The history month stuff was well received, and people engaged with the content.
We’re starting to build these focuses for next year and I’m aiming to arrange collaborations with different groups across the Union and University.
My biggest challenge I would like to accomplish is that everyone starting in September feels comfortable and able to engage in any sports and societies they want too without fear of judgement for being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and to achieve this, my aim is to arrange a meeting with every committee to discuss.
How can you step up?
We want you to challenge the idea that you can simply assume someone's pronouns by the way they look and for you to help normalise announcing your pronouns.
Here are some ways in which you can be more inclusive in your everyday language:
When you introduce yourself, also introduce your pronoun: This can remind people it may not always be obvious what pronoun someone uses.
Join us by putting your pronouns in your email signature and/or social media profile.
Try to avoid addressing groups or people with gendered language, e.g., instead of using ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, use the word ‘everyone’ to address a group.
If you’re not sure what someone’s pronouns are, you can always ask them. However, you should be mindful of the space you are in. You don't want to force someone to out themselves to you especially if you are in a space that might not be safe for a trans or non-binary person.?
We all make mistakes, and we are only human! Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up,?apologise and move on.?If you want to know more or are just generally interested in educating yourself we've popped a few of our favourite resources below.
This Years Celebrations
Across the year we have held a number of events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and spread awareness of allyship, some of these events have included:
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training
LGBTQ+ Student Network sessions
Trans Awareness week with your LGBTQ+ Officer
Understanding Transgender Healthcare
LGBTQ+ history month
Inclusion Awareness training
Two-Spirit, Trans+ and Non-Binary Peer Support Group
How can you get involved?
Claire has already started planning a working group for Pride 2023 and would love for you to be involved. We would love for students and staff to join the working group and help us in the build up to a successful event. We are planning for this to be a huge event so any skills and experiences you have that you can bring to the team please sign up. By using your skills and experiences, members of the working group will be given actions so that we can build a successful event. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.