University of
Pride not Prejudice

LGBT+ History Month runs every year throughout February. It helps to raise the visibility of people from LGBT+ communities and encourages allies to step forward to show their support and solidarity.

Celebrating LGBT+ History Month

Throughout February we will be celebrating LGBT+ History Month and marking the celebration by displaying the progress flag across the university.

This act of inclusion supports all students and staff regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, and is underpinned by our commitment to a culture of inclusion and belonging across the university. 

Across the month the Equality Diversity Inclusion and Wellbeing Team will be hosting training and events to raise awareness of the issues that LGBT+ people deal with, and to give our staff the skills they need to support them. 

There is no excuse for being a bystander when it comes to any form of discrimination. At the University of Derby, we take this seriously and this is why we celebrate all our staff and students, every day of every month of every year - not just during LGBT+ History Month.

For more information about the LGBT+ events running in Derby, check our Union of Students's event page.

happy BAME student in the University of Derby atrium at a Freshers event

Our role models and allies

Our role models and allies represent and support the diverse communities at the University. They are people who recognise and visibly demonstrate every day that everyone has an important contribution to make.

Meet our role models and alliesMeet our role models and allies

Top tips for being an LGBT+ ally

Tim Howell, Senior Lecturer in Social & Community Studies, shares his top tips for being an LGBT+ ally.

  1. Engage in dialogue - Encourage conversation and all views
  2. Be gentle and compassionate – if you come across views that challenge equality, engage in the conversation gently so your passion does not stop the dialogue
  3. Dance in your visibility - It is ok to dance in and out of the conversations. You don’t need to pressure yourself to be the voice of LGBT rights but rather step up and enter into dialogue when moved to do so, rather than feel you are expected to continually jump in. This helps create a climate of ongoing discussion and enquiry rather than shutting down opposing views without the middle ground
  4. Acknowledge your position – we all have different social identities and some facilitate being an ally more than others as we may have a strongly held age, gender, dis/ability, faith and ethnicity identities, for example
  5. Equip yourself – the narrative shifts so seek out opportunities to learn about the language, flags, imagery and history of the LGBT community. Keep informed and current
  6. Own your sh*t/avoid othering – it is fine to challenge views but make it personal. Talk about YOUR emotional response to an injustice rather than ‘othering’ it and making it about another person
  7. Be safe – An ally exists outside of our University family. While Derby has institutional support for the ally programme, broader society may not, so ensure any actions or reactions you take happen when safe. The bystander role is hugely powerful. Just standing by and ignoring a bully and talking to a victim can make a dramatic impact on the outcome

Why I’m an LGBT+ ally

Members of staff discuss why they became an LGBT+ ally, what the role involves and what it means to them.

"Being an ally means that I am visible and vocal in my support for people that feel like they are marginalised in society and the University in particular. This was an easy choice, I am vehemently anti-racist and pro equal rights and in my role at Chesterfield I support students who are the victim of abuse in my role as safeguarding officer. That said, it is very challenging to be an ally, it means accepting that sometimes you will upset people by challenging their worldview. It also provides a learning opportunity, I can honestly say that my understanding of the challenge involved with being ‘different’ has grown significantly since being an ally and that in itself is a significant reward."

"I feel passionately about true inclusivity – ensuring everyone I meet feels able to talk honestly and openly without a fear of judgment or discrimination. The first step is ‘normalising’ conversations about gender and sexuality in a way that does not make anyone feel uncomfortable or pressured; this involves making safe spaces and improving accessibility to role models and allies. Wearing my rainbow LGBT+ lanyard and badge is just one simple way I can show I support all students and staff and they will hopefully encourage others to start a conversation with me about their symbolism and meaning."

"When I put on my rainbow lanyard every morning before I leave home it reminds me of two really important things. It reminds me how lucky I am to be able to be myself in my workplace, and how grateful I feel to work at the University of Derby where everyone is valued for whoever they are and enabled to be their true selves while they are on campus, even if they can’t be anywhere else. And it reminds me that my daughter needs to have this freedom, as does everyone else in the next generation and beyond, in their lives from the word go. But that will only happen if we are all enabling everyone to be whoever they need to be. So when I put my lanyard on it reminds me to be who I am, and to show others you can be who you are at the University of Derby.

When I talk to my daughter about the rainbow lanyard she knows what it means. We have always discussed all relationship and identity possibilities; my proudest moment as a parent was when she came home from school one day aged 4 and told me “Mummy, my friends said today that a lady can’t marry a lady, but we know they can”. All she knows is that a human can love another human, and that each human can be whoever they are. I want that to be the message that we give at the University of Derby. So wearing my rainbow lanyard is one of the most important things I do every single day at work."

Find out more about Stonewall Diversity ChampionsFind out more about Stonewall Diversity Champions