April Ashley: Transgender pioneer’s ‘spectacular legacy’ to be celebrated

The friends of transgender pioneer April Ashley are to celebrate her “spectacular” legacy in her home city.

Liverpool-born Ashley, who died in 2021, was one of the first people to undergo surgery and went on to become a famous model, restaurateur and actress.

Her personal papers document everything from dinners with David Hockney to correspondence with Elizabeth Taylor.

Her friends Lou Muddle and Bev Ayre said a new archive would show who she really was and “not just the myth”.

The pair, who are both from Liverpool, were tasked by Ashley to sort through her belongings after discovering she “kept absolutely everything”.

Ms Ayre said Ashley had been “truly spectacular” and was “family to us”, though she admits that closeness came with more than a touch of stardust. More

Windrush Day: Queen praises pioneers as Waterloo statue unveiled

The Queen has praised the Windrush “pioneers” for their “profound contribution” to British life as a statue to them was unveiled.

The monument, at Waterloo Station, pays tribute to the thousands of people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971.

It depicts a man, woman and child standing on top of suitcases and was revealed to mark Windrush Day.

The government gave £1m to fund the statue, designed by Basil Watson.

In a message to mark the occasion, signed Elizabeth R, the Queen said she hoped the statue would “inspire present and future generations” as she sent her “warmest good wishes on this historic occasion”.

Windrush Day marks the arrival of Caribbean immigrants to the shores of Britain on 22 June each year – the day HMT Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in 1948. More

New LGBT+ Podcast

Spill the Tea

Ayomide Oluyemi and Panagiotis Pentaris have finished the production of the pilot episode of the very new LGBT+ Podcast that has launched on transistor.fm and is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Podcast Addict, Player FM, and Deezer, and soon on Apple podcasts as well.

This podcast show focuses on matters pertinent to LGBT+ Culture. The show hosts guests who share their lived experience and through conversations help us understand further issues that this population is facing or has faced, raising thus awareness and providing a creative educational platform.

The first episode hosts Peter McGraith, a long-standing activist of LGBT+ rights in the UK, and half of the very first same-sex couple to get married in England once it was legalised, in 2014. Peter is having a conversation with us about Pride and Pride month, its meaning, significance and future. This is to celebrate Pride Month and increase inclusivity.

We hope you all enjoy and share with colleagues in and outside of the University. It seems that before we even announced its release, the episode has been accessed generously and internationally!

Access the episode here Spill the Tea (transistor.fm)


Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – June 2022

This year Diabetes Week runs from 13 – 19 June and with this in mind we have chosen Muhammad Ali as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Muhammad is a professional boxer and on 19 May 2018 he made boxing history after becoming World’s first type1 diabetic to be granted a professional licence by the British Boxing Board of Control.

As an amateur Muhammad boxed at the 2016 Olympics, 2015 World Championships and the 2014 World Youth Championships where he won a silver medal.  His ambition is to become the first diabetic boxing world champion.

Muhammad says this about his diabetes:

“Diabetes is a condition, not an illness; I’m just like any other ordinary person. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass by but learning to weather the storm. One day I’d love to say I lived by diabetes”.

Muhammad is an ambassador for Diabetes UK, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the International Diabetes Federation.

To find out more about Muhammad see here https://www.muhammadaliboxing.com/

To find out more about Diabetes Week see here https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-week