Pride events 2022

Join us for Pride Canterbury – Saturday 11th June

This Saturday (11 June) is Pride Canterbury! The parade will pass through Canterbury High Street at 11.30 and is followed by a star-studded festival in the city’s Dane John Gardens.

Take Part in the Parade

University of Kent LGBTQ+ staff, students, and allies are all warmly welcomed to take part in the parade. If you would like to march with us in pride, you can collect a wristband from EDI Adviser Kim Mulholland on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 June between 12.00 and 13.00 in the Gulbenkian Café. Wristbands will also be available to collect on the day, but please note that these will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.

On the day…

The University of Kent Parade Group will meet on the steps of the Marlowe theatre between 10.00 and 10.30 before walking to the Parade Staging Area together. Please be prompt, and remember to wear your best Pride outfit! A number of banners, placards and flags will be available for you.


Pride picnics in Canterbury and Medway – Saturday 18th June

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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

3 Reasons Why We Still Need IDAHOBIT

By Alex Charilaou

May 17th is the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – it celebrates the same day in 1990, when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.  Today, we stand together as the LGBTQ+ community and its allies against discrimination, bigotry and division.

Despite the advances made by the LGBTQ+ community in the last few decades, there is still a need for IDAHOBIT in 2021. Here’s 3 reasons why.

  1. Violent crime against LGBTQ+ people in the UK and US is increasing. Devastating research coming out from both countries shows that violent crime towards the LGBTQ+ community has not diminished in the last couple of years. In the UK, Galop found that 1 in 4 trans or gender non-conforming people in the UK had experienced physical violence, while research by the BBC found that homophobic and biphobic hate crime cases had trebled from 2014 to 2020. Meanwhile, US charity Human Rights Campaign found that 2021 was the worst year on record for anti-trans violence, with 29 transgender people killed in the first half of the year alone. This deeply worrying trend exposes the need for IDAHOBIT in the UK and US.
  2. There is an increasingly bleak picture for the LGBTQ+ community internationally. As this report by Human Rights Watch attests, there are many parts of the world where LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms are being diminished, and LGBTQphobia is increasingly emboldened. Right-wing, authoritarian governments in Brazil, Poland and Hungary among others have reduced LGBTQ+ individuals’ access to public services and healthcare, while numerous reactionary backlashes have led to an increase in LGBTQ+ hate crimes across the world. These statistics elucidate the need for an internationalist solidarity between LGBTQ+ individuals and allies across borders.
  3. Outcomes for LGBTQ+ people of colour, disabled people and communities of faith, among others, are poorer. As research by Stonewall has found, minority groups within the LGBTQ+ community face greater obstacles. Shockingly, half of BAME people in the community surveyed reported experiencing ethnic discrimination in their local LGBTQ+ community, a figure which rises to 60% for black people. Similarly, a quarter of disabled LGBTQ+ individuals faced discrimination in their communities. Moreover, health outcomes, economic outcomes and safety from violence decreases when you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community from another minority group. This research emphasises the need for an intersectional IDAHOBIT, and for us all in the LGBTQ+ to reach across minority barriers with our solidarity.

3 Things You Can Do To Support The LGBTQ+ Community

  1. Learn more about IDAHOBIT and the difficulties faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
  2. Join the Staff LGBTQ+ Network
  3. Work together with the LGBTQ+ community to make change; politically, culturally and legally – we’ve already come so far, but together, we can go even further.

Stand up to oppression and bigotry this IDAHOBIT!

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Lesbian Day of Visibility – 26th April

6 Lesbian Women You Really Need to Know About

By Alex Charilaou

Even more so than women more generally, the contributions of lesbian women have been roundly swept from the history books in favour of heterosexual men. Nevertheless, some lesbian women have persisted in making a historical mark, and on Lesbian Day of Visibility we highlight just some of these amazing lesbian women who made the world a better place.


Sappho was a Greek poet who famously wrote about women, love and sex. In one poem, she pines for goddess Aphrodite, while in another she compares her muse (a ‘girl’) to a ripening apple and wild hyacinth flower. It is from Sappho that we get the word lesbian: she was born on the Greek island of lesbos.

Sara Josephine Baker

The first woman to earn a public health doctorate from NYU, Baker was a renowned healthcare expert, whose interventions included school health programmes to prevent children becoming infected with dangerous diseases and helping to track down Typhoid Mary. In one year, Baker had single-handedly reduced the infant mortality rate by 39% in New York City.

 Jane Addams

Addams, the first American women to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, was a staunch supporter of women’s suffrage and a key figure in early 20th century anti-imperialist movements. A sociologist by training, Addams was a precise observer of the structures used by the American state to keep minorities and women oppressed, and successfully enabled people to organise and resist, not least through co-founding the American Civil Liberties Union.

Gertrude Stein

A ground-breaking modernist author, Stein lived with her partner Alice B. Toklas until the end of her life. Her bestselling novel, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, was a memoir written from Toklas’ perspective. Her other famous work, Tender Buttons, was claimed early on by feminist and LGBTQ+ movements as giving voice through language to those who language wasn’t built for.

 Audre Lorde

African-American writer Audre Lorde self-identified as a ‘Black lesbian feminist socialist mother of two’, and in her activism as much as her creative work Lorde sought to give a voice to marginalised groups, speaking truth to power in an intersectional way. Check out Lorde’s most famous love poem, Recreation, as well as one of her most combative, hopeful poems, A Litany For Survival.

 Johanna Sigurðardóttir

The first openly LGBTQ+ head of government anywhere in the world, Sigurðardóttir put women and LGBTQ+ rights very high up her agenda as the first female prime minster of Iceland. Under her leadership, same-sex marriage was legalised in the country, and she and her partner’s civil union was one of the first to be transferred into marriage.


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University of Kent Response to the EHRC Equality Act Report

Read the University of Kent’s response to the EHRC report here:

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Network of Kent and Medway LGBT+ Networks Joint Statement on Trans Inclusion and Support

We stand FIRMLY with our trans colleagues, students and service-users

Since the UK Government first proposed modest changes to the Gender Recognition Act to improve the lives of trans people in the UK, an often toxic debate has taken hold in the press and across social media, particularly targeting trans women but impacting upon the lives and lived experience of all trans and non-binary people. As a coalition of Networks representing LGBT+ employees in a range of organisations within Kent and Medway we wish to make it clear that we do not accept the false and often overtly transphobic narrative that is being advanced, and that we stand with and support our trans colleagues, students and service-users in their rights to live their lives in peace and security. We believe that trans and non-binary individuals are full members of the Queer community and always have been, and we reject any attempts to seek to separate trans people from the wider LGBT+ community.

Assertions made by a vocal minority that trans women are a sexual threat to cis women in single-sex spaces and that trans men are victims of an overbearing patriarchy are offensive in their assumptions and biases and do not listen to or take account of trans voices. The idea that single-sex spaces are under threat is not supported by any evidence from within the UK or indeed overseas, especially as most single-sex spaces already operate on a de facto self-ID basis and rarely require legal evidence of one’s gender. Further, the changes the government had proposed to the GRA would have no impact on the continuing existence of single-sex spaces as these are already covered by the Equality Act 2010.

As a Network of LGBT+ Networks we stand with our trans and non-binary colleagues in calling for trans equality, with better support and recognition for trans and non-binary people and the struggles they face. We know that within our institutions we still have work to do, but we are unequivocal in our aim to make the places where we work safe and welcoming to staff and service-users of all genders and identities.

Our message to the world is that trans people are welcome in Kent and Medway, without fear of discrimination. Trans rights are human rights, protected by law, and we reject any assertion that the rights of trans people in any way conflict with the rights of any other groups. Trans women are women, trans men are men, people who identify as non-binary deserve respect and legal protection for who they are. Trans people are our colleagues, our students, our friends, our families, and we stand with them every step of the way on the march towards true equality.

If you would like to learn how to be an ally, or wish to find out more about the rights of trans and non-binary people, visit or

This statement was drafted & is supported by
CCCq – The staff LGBTIQ+ Network of Canterbury Christ Church University
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
South East Coast Ambulance Service
The University of Kent LGBT+ Staff Network

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HIV Testing Week

Did you know that you can order a HIV test to do at home?

This HIV Testing Week, order your postal test kit to find out your status – it’s quick, free, and confidential!

Click here:

HIV is no longer a death sentence, but it’s still vitally important to get regularly tested so treatment can begin straight away.

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Mentoring and University Insights Project for LGBTQ+ Students

The Mentoring and University Insights Project for LGBTQ+ Students is a programme for Level 3 students who are thinking about going to university after sixth form or college and want to learn more about the experiences of LGBTQ+ students. It is open for applications now, and it closes on Friday 11 March. If anyone has any suggestions of places to promote in, or things we can do to engage 16-18 year old members of the LGBTQ+ community, please get in touch with

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LGBTQ+ History Month at Kent

Together with Kent Union, we’re celebrating LGBT+ History Month throughout FebruaryThe national theme is ‘Politics in Art’. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or you want to be a better ally, it’s a great time to get involved and learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ movement.

What’s on?

There’s a wide range of events happening this month including:

  • All month – ‘LGBTQ+ in Lockdown’, Keynes art exhibition featuring artwork from our talented LGBTQ+ students
  • 2, 9, 16, 23 Feb – LGBTQ+ Book Club
  • 8 Feb – Queer Icons Karaoke
  • 9 Feb – Tie Dye session
  • 9 Feb – Celebrating Consent Day featuring Ruby Rare
  • 11 Feb – Zine Making Workshop
  • 20 Feb – Woody’s Quiz, LGBTQ+ edition
  • 21 Feb – Reflect, Recover and Empower Workshop for LGBTQ+ students
  • 24 Feb – Film Night (with free popcorn)
  • 28 Feb – Experiences of Transgender Students in HE session


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Intersex Awareness Day – 3 Myths About the Intersex Community Which Need Clearing Up


Today, on Intersex Awareness Day, we come together to learn more from our intersex friends, family, and colleagues about their lives, and learn how to inform each other better about what life is like as an intersex person. To celebrate this tradition of educating, we’ve compiled a list of 3 myths about the intersex community that are only partially true, or untrue.

Myth 1 Being intersex is extremely rare.

The scientific consensus is that between 1.5-2% of people are intersex, a similar proportion of people worldwide who have red hair. It is actually not too uncommon to be intersex, and given that many people might not have superficial intersex characteristics, the number could be far higher. Some people are not born with obviously intersex characteristics, and they might become obvious at puberty or later in life.


Myth 2 Intersex people are transgender.

The word “transgender” – or trans – is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. The word “intersex” relates to physical sexual characteristics, and not to an internal sense of identity. An intersex person may also identify as trans, but they are separate things, because gender and sex are separate. It is therefore untrue that all (or even most) intersex people are trans.


Myth 3 Intersex is a condition which needs ‘correcting’.

Since the 1950s, and after the work of disgraced gender scientist John Money had made an impact across Europe and North America, operations to ‘correct’ intersex people became more popular, as this Amnesty International document reports in shocking depth. Intersex people (not least children) are rarely harmed by their natural divergences, and more often than not, ‘treatment’ can cause lifelong damage to an intersex individual. It is by no means necessary to ‘correct’ an intersex person, and the myth which supports this is one which is particularly damaging to the intersex community.


With any luck, clearing up these myths will make people more aware of what it’s truly like to be intersex, and help you make a positive contribution on Intersex Awareness Day!


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Bisexual Visibility Day

Why We Need Bisexual Visibility Day

More and more people in the UK and abroad are identifying as bisexual. Despite this, many bisexual people are still marginalised, facing unique challenges from the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. Bi-erasure and a lack of understanding of bisexuality in society has meant that many bisexual people are at increased risk of social alienation and mental illness.

According to a 2020 report, bisexual people’s mental health was worse over the lockdown period, and in general, than among those who identify as gay or lesbian. The study reported that, compared with lesbians and gay men, bisexual individuals were more likely to report identity uncertainty, conceal their sexual orientation, and have a weaker sense of connection to the LGBTQ+ community, which were in turn associated with poorer mental well-being. This trend appears to be even more stark among bisexual of colour, disabled bisexuals, and bisexuals from non-Western countries, as well as bisexuals from poorer socio-economic backgrounds.

Bisexual people are sexually and/or romantically attracted to both men and women (and often other genders too). Biphobia usually takes the form of delegitimising a part of their identity – if a bisexual man has a girlfriend, they’re told they’re straight, while if they have a boyfriend, they’re told they’re gay.

Bisexual Visibility Day is important to combat negative stereotypes about bisexuality for the good of the entire LGBTQ+ community.

Here are a few ways to inform yourself and others on Bisexual Visibility Day:

  • If you’re a parent, educator or community leader, highlight famous and
    significant bisexual people – ‘bicons’ – from history, or relevant to your field. Famous bisexual women include Virginia Woolf, Frida Kahlo and Eleanor Roosevelt, while famous bisexual men include Walt Whitman, David Bowie and Malcolm X.
  • Understand that bisexuality is a centuries-long pattern of human behaviour, consistently also observed in the animal community, not a set of hard-and-fast rules. It is not necessary to ask somebody to define their ‘percentages’ or justify their identity as a bisexual.
  • Make sure to correct people where possible if they mislabel your bisexual friend or colleague as ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ – they are neither of these things, and addressing them as such can be very hurtful.

Appreciate your bi friends, family and colleagues today – bisexuals, be loud!


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