Category Archives: LGBT

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – March 2017

On 1 March it is World Book Day and on the 8 March it is International Women’s Day.  With this in mind we have chosen Jeanette Winterson as our inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Jeanette is an award-winning English writer, who became famous with her first book, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a semi-autobiographical novel about a sensitive teenage girl rebelling against conventional values.  This book won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, and was adapted for television by Jeanette in 1990.  Some of her other novels have explored gender polarities and sexual identity.

Jeanette is a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, which focuses on LGBT issues and she won the E. M. Forster Award in 1989.  In 2016, she was chosen as one of BBC’s 100 Women.

In 2012, she succeeded Colm Tóibín as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester.

In 2006 Jeanette received and OBE for services to literature.

To find out more about Jeanette and her work please see her website

http://www.jeanettewinterson.com/

And the Academy Award goes to… diversity

You might have missed it amid all the hubbub, but a film about a gay black man just won the best picture Oscar.

Not only that, but one of Moonlight’s stars – Mahershala Ali – became the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.

And best supporting actress Viola Davis, star of Fences, made history as the first black woman to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony for acting.  More

Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month – February 2017

February is LGBT History Month and with this in mind we have chosen Kate Richardson-Walsh as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.

Kate is an Olympic Gold and Bronze medal winning hockey player. She was capped a record 375 times for her country and was the England and Great Britain Captain for 13 years.  She started playing hockey at school aged 11 and it took her only nine years to progress to represent her country at the Olympic Games. Kate made both her England and Great Britain debuts in 1999 and has since gone on to play at the full range of international tournaments including four Summer Olympics, four Hockey World Cups and four Commonwealth Games.   In 2003 aged 23 years old she was made captain of the senior GB hockey team, a role she held for a further 13 years until her retirement in 2016.

At the 2012 London Olympics Kate’s remarkable character and determination to set an example and lead her team was highlighted by the fact that she returned to play in the tournament having broken her jaw during a game only three matches earlier in the competition.  The team with her inspiration went on to win the Bronze medal.

At the Rio Olympics in 2016 Kate captained Great Britain team to their first gold medal. The team were undefeated throughout the tournament, beating The Netherlands in the final on penalties.  A feat which saw her being selected to be the Team GB flag bearer at the closing ceremony

Following the 2016 Olympics and after 375 appearances for her country, 19 medals, 49 goals and 13 years as GB and England Captain, she confirmed her retirement from International hockey.  She is currently taking the opportunity to play club hockey in the Netherlands.

Kate currently serves as an ambassador for the Women’s Sport Trust, supports disability hockey as an ambassador for Access Sport, and between 2013 and 2016 she was elected to the British Olympic Association Athletes’ Commission and European Olympic Athlete’s Commissions.

In 2013 Kate married Great Britain and England teammate Helen Richardson and together they made history becoming the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic Gold medal together and the first married British couple to win Gold together since 1920. In 2017 Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh were both awarded honours, making them the first same-sex married couple to be honoured on the same list.

In 2015 Kate was awarded an MBE for services to hockey and an OBE in the 2017 New Year Honours, also for services to hockey.  In 2016 Kate was the first hockey player to be shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Kate’s leadership skills, inspiration, determination to succeed and true grit has earned her the nickname ‘Captain Fantastic’ and never has a nickname been better suited.

Girlguiding To Welcome Transgender Children And Leaders Under Official New Guidelines

New guidelines from Girlguiding state that transgender children and leaders are welcome in the organisation in a move to support anyone who identifies as a girl or woman.

The 107-year-old organisation now officially opens its doors to those who were assigned male at birth but self-identify as female.

The guidelines state that children from the age of five can join Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides if they identify as female.

Greg Clarke says gay footballers could come out together at start of season

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Greg Clarke, the Football Association chairman, has spoken to gay footballers and suggested the idea of a group of players coming out together.

Clarke said last year that he “wouldn’t recommend” a footballer coming out at the moment because of the risk they would be verbally abused, but believes several players sharing the spotlight may be the answer. “I put the message out there that if a number of top-level pros want to come out, why don’t we synchronise it? So one person doesn’t have to come out on their own,” he said in an interview with the Times newspaper.

“The Premier League, the Football League and the FA could do it at the start of the season. At the start of the season everybody thinks it is their season, the crowds are happy, the sun is shining. I was asked [recently] if football is ready for top-level pros to come out and I said I’m not sure we were.  More

National Trust prepares to celebrate its gay history

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The long happy marriage and the very separate bedrooms of Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson, will be celebrated at their Kent home as the National Trust turns its attention for the first time to the gay history locked within the walls of many of its properties.

The Nicolsons were a famously devoted couple, and had two sons, the writer and publisher Nigel and art historian Benedict, but both also had passionate relationships with partners of the same sex. More

Moonlight: The small-budget film that is sweeping Hollywood awards

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It’s been hailed by critics as diverse film-making at its best, but the director of Moonlight, which has six Golden Globe nominations, says the film is not a response to the #OscarsSoWhite criticism of last year’s award season.

Miami-born filmmaker Barry Jenkins wrote and directed the film, based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, about a young African American boy named Chiron coming to terms with his sexuality as he grows up in a tough Florida neighbourhood.

However, while the shoot took only 25 days, Jenkins says he conceived the project “at least three-and-a-half years ago”.

He explains: “That’s fairly average because it takes a long time for a film to get made.

“So all these movies we have this year – Birth of a Nation, A United Kingdom, Loving, Fences – which are being framed as a reply to the campaign about the lack of diversity in the system, probably began about four years ago.  More

University LGBT initiatives: there’s still room for improvement

guardian-article-diversityLiberal attitudes towards sexual orientation have long been a source of pride for universities. But in the first guide to gay-friendly universities, published in 2010 by Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, not one of the more than 125 UK institutions listed scored 10 out of 10. Four years later, the Gay by Degree 2015 guide listed six with top marks; these institutions could demonstrate that they had LGBT societies and events, non-harassment policies that specifically mentioned sexual orientation, and consulted LGBT students in decision-making.  More