University panel and personal stories help North West celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month

University panel and personal stories help North West celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month

Promoting inclusivity in our modern society, University of Cumbria is bringing together a host of North West organisations for a panel discussion to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month.

‘A Life Worth Living’ is taking place on Thursday 25 February and is free and open to everyone to attend, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, including allies.

Panel chairman University of Cumbria Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health, Environment and Innovation) Professor Brian Webster-Henderson will be joined by:

The University of Cumbria has an active LGBTQ+ Network of staff with more than 40 members based across the university’s sites in Cumbria, Lancashire and London. University of Cumbria Students’ Union leads a similar network for students.

Several student and staff members have recorded videos to share personal stories and key moments in the history of LGBTQ+ rights that have made an impact on their lives. The videos can be seen this month on the university’s social media channels, marking LGBTQ+ History Month.

Already a Stonewall Champion, a University of Cumbria staff LGBTQ+ Network was launched 18 months ago. Since then, it has supported the university in offering Trans awareness training to educate, support and raise awareness for LGBTQ+ staff and allies; and has provided a free online reading resource that includes LGBTQ+ Gender and Identity literature and is available to all staff and students.

Diversity dates such as International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Trans Day of Remembrance, and Pride are also marked by the university.

Professor Webster-Henderson said: “At the University of Cumbria, we are committed to celebrating diversity, challenging prejudice and not tolerating discrimination.

“We strongly believe in treating everyone with equal dignity and respect, encouraging our staff and students to learn from each other in a safe environment. Therefore, we’re pleased to be sharing our values and approach together with partners at this significant event that supports the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the North West and beyond.”

Molly McConnell, welfare officer for the University of Cumbria Students’ Union, said: “Our student LGBTQ+ Network launched last summer and has become one of our most established with the highest membership of all our student networks.

“We are so proud of everything this network and its partner society have accomplished since they were established. They’ve provided really valuable peer support and a safe community space during a really isolating time. Connecting through virtual spaces, meetups and involvement in our book club event discussing ‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ during LGBTQ+ History Month. “The Network has also been key in helping to review the Trans Student Record Policy and facility updates.”

‘A Life Worth Living’ is on Thursday 25 February 2021, 3-4pm. Register for a free place, and read full event details, here.