Learning Environment Supervisor
Why do you want to be a straight ally?
To continue to support a community who continue to face discrimination. I have been performing this function since my early teenage years and doing what I can to battle discrimination. I just see this as a new avenue to continue doing the same.
Why would straight people be involved in LGBT+ issues?
I think we need to remove barriers and accept that LGBTQ+ communities are just another part of our society. I do not like the us/them divisions and I think the best way to break those barriers to engage with other communities, and “normalise” those connections. I hope that through support systems like yours, examples can be set to other straight person. Also, to remind those in the LGBTQ+ communities who may be facing discrimination from straight individuals, that these abusers don’t represent the entire sexual orientation, and there are always those who support the cause.
What can straight allies do to make the University of Kent a better place for being an LGBT+ staff member?
- Be visible as “allies” to the community and be on hand to connect, engage and listen to the experiences of the LGBTQ+ communities.
- Set an example of accepting, tolerant and welcoming behaviour to other straight persons.
- Be vigilant against discrimination in the workplace and intervene/educate whenever possible.
Do you have any LGBT+ friends or family members, or experiences that have shaped your interest in being a straight ally?
My introduction to the LGBTQ+ community was around my preteen years when my mother found success in her career as a music producer abroad within what she called the “Berlin gay scene.” Those chaotic years introduced me to new people and cultures drastically different to my previous experiences, but everyone I met was so welcoming and friendly. Since then, I’ve always gravitated to the LGBTQ+ communities where I’ve never failed to receive a warm welcome and meet some fantastic & likeminded people, but it’s through these associations I’ve learned something of the challenges that also face these communities. I have witnessed discrimination against the closest of friends for just being true to themselves and it staggers me that this is still an issue for some people In the 21st century. While I might not be able to relate entirely to that experience as a hetero male, I believe firmly and entirely that the LGBTQ+ community deserves better and I’m prepared to do what I can towards that end.
Joe is happy to be contacted by email: email@example.com