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:
"As a BAME LGBT 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, Lecturer in Music
"I feel a responsibility to help create spaces where marginalised people can flourish. This is why visibility can be so important: it is a way to let other queer people, especially people of colour, know that it’s okay to embrace who they are and to show them a couple of ways to thrive (and be fabulous!) in the world."Read more about Senthorun (Sen) Raj, Lecturer, School of Law
"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
"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
"Coming to university and meeting other out LGBT individuals was a huge turning point for me – it made me realised that what I had been feeling was perfectly normal, and that a happy family life was still possible for me. It was an experience I will be forever grateful for. I hope that by being a visible LGBT individual, I can do the same for someone else."Read more about Alan Harper, Lecturer in Bioscience, School of Medicine
"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
"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
"It is important to have a Staff LGBTI Network as it creates a safe space and a platform for celebrating who we are."Read more about Derek McGhee, Professor of Sociology, Faculty Dean of Research for Humanities an
"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
"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 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
- Why do you think it’s important to have out and visible LGBT people in the University?
- What is it like ‘coming out’ as an LGBT person?
- What advice would you give to other LGBT 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 LGBT staff and students?
- Why are allies important in the workplace?/ What’s the role of active LGBT allies in the workplace?
- 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
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 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.
Following the Stonewall straight 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.