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Supporting our LGBT+ Staff and Students

Colour photograph of rainbow flag

Here at the University of Reading, we are proud of the support we offer to the trans and LGBT+ community – both students and staff alike.

Each year we mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT) gathering on Whiteknights Campus to raise a rainbow flag in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality. In 2017 we launched our flagship LGBT+ event the Wolfenden Lecture named after our fourth Vice Chancellor Sir John Wolfenden who chaired a landmark report which led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.

For 2019, I am delighted that we will be welcoming Jake and Hannah Graf to deliver The Wolfenden Lecture on OUR TRANS LIVES: life, love and Lorraine. Held on 17 May, the day prior to IDAHoBiT, the lecture is a chance to reflect on progress and inspire future generations of the LGBT+ community.

Find out more or book your place here.

In addition, this year's Wolfenden Seminar will aim to give voice to trans people and their allies. Academic contributors will discuss the ways in which trans children and adults experience, cope with and challenge transphobia and cis-normativity in institutional settings: the school, the university, and the prison.

Find out more about the 2019 Wolfenden Seminar here.

Other activities next week on and around IDAHoBiT are detailed in this earlier Staff Portal article.

This year’s Wolfenden Series underlines the University’s respect for an individual’s right to self-identify as male, female, gender fluid, non-binary or any other gender identity and commits to recognising all members of the University community however they choose to present gender in so far as is reasonable and practicable.

We are committed to providing appropriate support to individuals before, during and after transition. Our Trans and Gender Identity guidance advises other staff and students to acknowledge a person as the gender they identify as from the outset of the transition process, including using the individual’s chosen name and pronouns from the day they begin transitioning, if this is what they wish to happen.

In June 2018, the University also published a new policy on the provision of gender neutral toilets. This includes guidance for project teams on providing gender neutral toilets, alongside gendered toilets, in existing and new buildings on our campuses. We aim to provide at least one gender neutral toilet in all major buildings alongside gendered facilities, and our progress to date is shown clearly on our campus maps.

On 12 November, we launched a joint #NeverOK campaign with RUSU against harassment and bullying. We are committed to providing a safe environment for all our students and staff, and we do not tolerate any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

The University of Reading offers a wealth of information and resources for the LGBT+ community, all of which is listed in the Trans and Gender Identity guidance, including support provided through the LGBT+ and Diversity Officers in RUSU, by the student LGBT+ Society, and by our very active LGBT+ Staff Network.

Our diversity and inclusion webpages highlight our broader activities and work with very many staff and student teams and individuals across the University, to make change and make our University a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment for all our students and colleagues.


Prof Simon Chandler-Wilde

Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

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