Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic. It means a person’s sexual orientation towards:
- persons of the same sex (that is, the person is a gay man or a lesbian);
- persons of the opposite sex (that is, the person is heterosexual); or
- persons of either sex (that is, the person is bisexual)
Keele has a number of Lesbian, Gay and Bi role models who are part of our LGBTQI+ role models scheme:
"It is really important that queer people are empowered to manage their own forms of visibility and audibility in the University as in everyday life. This is a matter of self-respect as well as a statement that our embodiment of diversity is an essential part of bringing diversity of experience to higher education."Read more about Dominic Janes
"As a BAME LGBT Senior Lecturer, I consider it very important to be a visible role model. I didn’t have one while growing up in Peru. It would have made a great difference to me to see people who looked and sounded like me, who maybe wanted a life similar to the one I wanted."Read more about Fiorella Montero-Diaz, Senior Lecturer in Music
"The more people who are out and visible, who challenge preconceptions and presumptions, the more comfortable the world will be for people who are LGBTI."Read more about Russell Reader, Director of Strategic Communications and Brand
"As a proud bi-sexual, I wanted to be visible to other staff and students to show that being bi, regardless of sex of current partner, is valid and accepted in the LGBTQ group, and at Keele University."Read more about Susie Taylor, Senior Project Manager
"Coming to university and meeting other out LGBTQ+ individuals was a huge turning point for me – it made me realise that what I had been feeling was perfectly normal, and that a happy family life was still possible for me. It is an experience I will be forever grateful for. I hope that, by being a visible LGBTQ+ individual, I can do the same for someone else. "Read more about Alan Harper, Senior Lecturer in Physiology, School of Medicine
"I want to be out and visible to provide reassurance to all staff and students that the senior team is made up of a diverse group of people, with differing lived-experiences."Read more about Mark Bacon, Chief Operating Officer
"Working in life sciences really made me appreciate the importance of role models. I have had a fair few students come to see me over the years to discuss sexuality. It has made me realise how difficult coming out can be even in a fully caring and accepting environment."Read more about Glenn Hussey, Lecturer, School of Life Sciences
"I believe that it is important for people to see that LGBT people are productive members of society. When I was younger, the only images that I saw of LGBT people were stereotypes or negative stories about HIV/AIDS. These images, when not placed in context or challenged by anything else, can easily lead people to believe that these features DEFINE the LGBT community. But, most of the time LGBT people just live normal lives and have a huge variety of interests and lifestyles."Read more about Joseph Brooks, Senior Lecturer, Psychology
"Becci Bryant is the first woman in the UK to have achieved her prestigious position, as Chief Fire Officer, after beginning her career as a firefighter."Read more about Becci Bryant, Keele Honoray Graduate, Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive of
"Having visible LGBT people in the University not only provides a sense of support to other LGBT staff and students but it also helps normalise LGBT identities to heterosexual staff and students who may or may not know many LGBT people. I feel this is especially important in a University where we have a large number of young people who may still be in the process of recognising or accepting their own sexuality. Visibility is vital for the wellbeing of all LGBT people, whether ‘out’ or not."Read more about Katie Wright Bevans, Lecturer in Social, Health and Community Psychology
"people thrive best when they are true to themselves... It is all well and good to display a rainbow flag to say to LGBT+ communities that they are welcome and accepted, but actions to ensure a more inclusive, safe and accessible environment are key in order for visibility to be truly successful. Also, by making LGBT+ communities more comfortable being out and proud, it also gives those who are yet to truly discover who they are hope and courage to one day be comfortable in their own skin and embrace one of many individual characteristics that make them unique."Read more about Makinder Chahal, Keele Alumnus
"I came out as gay in 1994, it was terrifying and very lonely, I am Black African and from a very conservative Christian family, from Nigeria. I was afraid of losing everything. When I came out I was married to a woman and we just had a child. It was the most difficult decision I had to make and it broke me into many pieces. I felt like a failure but was also relieved that I am now able to speak the truth about who I am. I started my journey from that moment rebuilding my life based on my truth and I have not looked back. "Read more about Reverend Jide Macaulay - Founding Pastor, House of Rainbow CIC
"Mike Jackson graduated in 1980, and during his time at Keele founded North Staffs Gay Switchboard, an information and counselling service offering support to LGBT people. He then went on to become co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) during the 1984 Miners’ Strike - which was immortalised in the award-winning film ‘Pride’."Read more about Mike Jackson, Keele Alumnus and Honorary Graduate
"invisibility delayed my coming out and enjoying life to the full. It’s still rare for LGBT+ young people to learn about gay life from their families, schools and local communities. Getting away to University should open up the world in all its diversity. Out and proud LGBT+ students and staff are vital to creating a vibrant, dynamic and inclusive experience for everyone."Read more about Sir Nick Partridge, OBE, Keele Honorary Graduate
A role model is aware of their potential to influence others and intentionally exercises that influence for the purpose of helping to create a more inclusive environment. In order to do so, the role model needs to be true to themselves, visible in their community and ready to act against discrimination.
Staff and students of Keele’s LGBTQI+ community are asked to become a visible role model.
- We are particularly keen to include role models from all LGBTI groups and those with multiple protected characteristics.
- The final aim of the project is to produce a website to showcase our role models, highlighting LGBTI and multiple identities.
- Each profile will contain a photo and wording as provided by each individual.
- Profiles will be communicated widely throughout Keele
LGBTQI+ Role Model Questions
Please provide your answers to up to 3 questions, max. 500 words in total.
Please provide a preferred a photograph, otherwise we will use the photo as per the Keele staff profile
- Why do you think it’s important to have out and visible LGBTQI+ people in the University?
- What is it like ‘coming out’ as an LGBTQI+ person?
- What advice would you give to other LGBTQI+ staff or students who may be facing difficulties as a result of their sexuality?
- What is your experience of being LGBT with other protected characteristics (where relevant)?
- What can we all do to make Keele a better place for LGBTQI+ staff and students?
- Why are allies important in the workplace?/ What’s the role of active LGBTQI+ allies in the workplace?
- How important is the Keele staff LGBTQI+ Network?
Please email us your answers.
Stonewall BAME LGBT Voices Documentary
Stonewall, the UK’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, has launched the ‘BAME LGBT Voices Documentary’. This ground-breaking series of short videos explores and celebrates the diverse experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) LGBT people, including those of Keele's Dr Fiorella Montero Diaz, Lecturer in Music.
Fiorella, Rhys and Revd Jide
The videos were shown together followed by a panel discussion of Keele staff and student LGBTI role models.
PVC Shane O'Neill and panel members
'Straight ally’ is a term used to describe heterosexual people who believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning and intersex (LGBTQI+) people should experience full equality in the workplace. Good straight allies recognise that LGBTQI+ people can perform better if they can be themselves and straight allies use their role within an organisation to create a culture where this can happen.
Allies don't have to be straight though! For example, a Gay man can be an ally to Bi woman and vice versa. Likewise, someone who identifies as Lesbian, Gay or Bi can be an ally to someone who identifies with a trans or non-binary gender identity.
Following the Stonewall ally training and supported by members of the Keele Staff LGBTI Network and Keele’s #NeverOK campaign, we offer training sessions to enable attendees to become confident and effective LGBTI Allies. This training is open to all Keele Staff and we have a growing network of trained LGBTI Allies.
If you are interested in attending a training session and becoming a Keele LGBTI Ally please contact Hannah Barjat in the Equalities Team.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI+) network seeks to provide a safe, confidential, and supportive environment for all staff who identify as LGBTQI and others who identify under the LGBTQI+ umbrella.
For further details see: LGBTQI+ staff network - Keele University
Below are a small number of local and national groups and resources fior the LGBT community. If you would like to include any further information please contact Hannah Barjat in the Equalities Team.
LGBT Stoke: A sexual health and lifestyle support service created especially for the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Stoke-on-Trent, and for those questioning their sexuality or gender identity.
Trans Staffordshire is a grassroots organization to bring the trans community of Staffordshire and Stoke together providing several safe and confidential spaces which will provide opportunities for trans people to meet socially,provide support and offer peer advice for trans people navigating the legal and medical obstacle course surrounding transition.
Keele Student Services information for LGBT Students
Stonewall is an LGBT rights charity in the UK, of which keele is a Champion. Stonewall works to achieve equality and justice for LGBT people and they produce a number of workplace guides, which will assist managers and staff to create an inclusive workplace. Stonewall have numerous helpful guides on their inclusive workplaces webapges, including:
- Delivering LGBT inclusive higher education
- Studying Abroad
- Starting Out Guide: Career's advice guide
- Trans inclusion in the global workplace
- Standing up for LGBT inclusion - a guide for senior employees
- The employee lifecycle
- Delivering LGBT inclusive phone services
- Safe travel : Global Mobility for LGBT staff
- Hate Crime in Britain
- Inclusive Sevice Delivery
Human Resource Policies and Procedures are inclusive of LGBTQI+ people. Where partners are referenced in our policies, these are regardless of gender and are inclusive of same-sex partners. If you have any questions about HR policies please contact your link HR Advisor.