Sexual orientation

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-sexual role models who are part of our LGBTI role models scheme:

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 LGBTI 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

LGBTI 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

  1. Why do you think it’s important to have out and visible LGBT people in the University?
  2. What is it like ‘coming out’ as an LGBT person?
  3. What advice would you give to other LGBT staff or students who may be facing difficulties as a result of their sexuality?
  4. What is your experience of being LGBT with other protected characteristics (where relevant)?
  5. What can we all do to make Keele a better place for LGBT staff and students?
  6. Why are allies important in the workplace?/ What’s the role of active LGBT allies in the workplace?
  7. How important is the Keele staff LGBTI 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   

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

PVC Shane O'Neill and panel members

More details of the event and links to the BAME LGBT Sonewall Voices Documentary

'Straight ally’ is a term used to describe heterosexual people who believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people should experience full equality in the workplace. Good straight allies recognise that LGBTI 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.

We have a growing network of trained LGBTI Allies.

Hannah Barjat, Athena SWAN Officer

Andrea Boardman, Finance Officer and PA to Head of School, School of Computing and Mathematics

Reverand Stephanie Couvela, Anglican Chaplain

Dr Kathleen Cushing, Director of History Programme and Reader in Medieval History

Sam Lesniak, Communications Manager, KIITE

Aimee Merrydew, Graduate Teaching Assistant

Dr Abigail Rutter, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering

Dr Sue Sherman, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Equality and Diversity Lead

and many more.

If you are interested in attending a training session and becoming a Keele LGBTI Ally please contact Hannah Barjat in the Equalities Team.

Students who wish to support Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work at Keele may do so via the Community Champions programme.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) network seeks to provide a safe, confidential, and supportive environment for all staff who identify as LGBTI and others who identify under the LGBTI umbrella. The aims of the network are to:

  • Work towards creating and supporting a culture in which all members of the University community are able to participate and fulfil their potential in an environment where they are valued and respected.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with the LGBT+ student society.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other external LGBT+ groups and networks.
  • To inform and influence the University’s approach and policy on sexual orientation and gender identity issues by contributing experience, expertise and ideas.
  • To advise and assist in monitoring the effectiveness and impact of equality policies and procedures from an LGBTI perspective.
  • Facilitate LGBTI staff experiencing difficulty due to their gender identity and sexuality to access confidential advice and support.
  • To provide advice to all staff on issues relating to sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Support University initiatives to raise awareness of LGBTI equality issues.

The LGBT Staff Network is delighted to welcome new members and contributions from existing members.

Membership of the network remains confidential.

To join the network please contact Hannah Barjat on (01782 7)33339 or

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.

The North Midlands LGBT Older People Group

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.

Advance-HE (Equality Challenge Unit)

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Keele SU LGBT Society

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 

Stonewall Logo

Human Resource Policies and Procedures are inclusive of LGBT 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.