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UCU LGBT History Month conference 2009

18 February 2009

This conference celebrated the diverse histories of the LGBT communities. The guest speaker was Allan Horsfall.

Conference report

The conference had explored difference between lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people through well-received presentations. Digging deeper into LGBT diversity there had been clear presentation of BME LGBT experience and the impact of HIV particularly for gay and bisexual men.

Although the different histories were quite clear there was significant common ground particularly in relation to heteronormative social structures and the challenges posed to LGBT lives by aligning LGBT rights with these structures. The conference called for the LGBT standing committee to make separate agenda items for L, G, B and T issues every meeting in order to ensure continued focus on difference. A significant aspect of taking this agenda forward would be to prioritise a challenging motion to be sent from UCU to the TUC LGBT conference with clear actions. The production of resources relevant to the different groups including ones focusing on BME, faith/belief, and health

issues would be a significant asset. In the area of health it was expressed that people need a clear understanding of the DDA. Positive images were identified as a significant step. In conjunction with the production of resources it was requested that UCU provide training drawing from the issues covered within the conference, especially around increasing visibility. The work of developing regional networks was welcomed and seen as a considerable asset for achieving these goals.

Focusing on what can be done to achieve gains for LGBT in the post school education sectors the conference called for surveys to be undertaken with the aim of revealing what work is being done on equality within institutions. It was expressed that looking at how LGBT rights can be, and in some cases are being, embedded into the wide range of curricula would be highly beneficial. Results and examples of good practice should then be published in numerous forms including through web sites and using other computer related means.

For further information please email Seth Atkin in the equality unit.

Last updated: 29 January 2020