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Discover LGBT History this month

The Wills Memorial Building was illuminated in rainbow colours during Bristol Pride 2016 Carolyn Eaton

1 February 2017

The University and Bristol Students’ Union are marking LGBT History Month with a range of events, including a panel discussion, a film screening and the launch of a new set of classroom resources developed by Bristol researchers.

On 7 February, the Student and Staff LGBT+ networks are hosting a panel discussion focusing on national and local LGBT+ History. There will be an opening talk by Jonathan Cooper OBE, human rights lawyer and Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust, marking 2017 as the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. For details of the speakers and the venue, go to the event’s Facebook page.

Bristol SU are collaborating with Story Slam Bristol to present an afternoon event at the Wardrobe Theatre on 12 February, and will be screening the film Pride, with a talk by Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners affiliate and University member Mike McBeth, on 17 February.    

School resources
Bristol researchers are also marking the month with the launch of a new set of personal, health and social education resources for secondary schools. Pupils can explore local LGBT+ history via a digital map and mobile app, and reflect on social and philosophical questions around gender, sexuality, social norms, freedom, crime and punishment.

The resources were developed by Nate Eisenstadt and Helen Foster in collaboration with young people from the LGBTQ+ youth group, Freedom Youth. This formed part of the wider project, Mapping LGBT+ Bristol, a collaboration between the University, local LGBT+ history group OutStories Bristol and Bristol City Council.

The secondary school resources are free to download, and a limited run of printed materials is available on request (contact

Rising in the Index
Bristol first became a Stonewall Diversity Champion in 2014 and continues its work in this area via the Stonewall Steering Group. The University’s commitment to supporting its LGBT+ staff and students has seen the University climb 126 places in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index (WEI) since 2015, to 219th.

The WEI is a benchmarking tool used by employers to help ensure all lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees can be themselves in the workplace. Participating employers demonstrate their work in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, from training to community engagement.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), said: ‘We are delighted to see our progress represented in our score. Credit for this must go to our staff and students who continue to challenge the accepted norms to improve equality for all. We know that there’s more that we can do to empower our staff to be their true selves at work, and this remains a priority in our University strategy. This activity complements our SWAN Award initiatives, which recognises our University’s work on gender equality.’

Further information

For details of the month’s events at Bristol, see the Human Resources LGBT History Month page.

The Stonewall Top 100 Employers List can be found on their website.

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