Around the world, June is recognised as LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) Pride Month to commemorate a tipping point in queer human rights history — the Stonewall Riots uprising. Find out more about Pride Month.
As a part of Pride Month we wanted to highlight the many LGBTQIA+ groups and networks at the University.
Find out more about our LGBTQIA+ Community at Kent:
- The LGBTQ+ Network aims to represent and act as the voice for, as well as promote, extend and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ students to both the University and Kent Union.
- LGBTQ+ Society is a social society with the aim of providing a safe space for those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella. They welcome people of all sexualities and genders.
- Medway LGBTQ Society at GKSU.
- LGBTQ+ Mythbusters are Kent students who go into secondary schools to speak to students (16-18 year olds) candidly about their experiences, both in terms of their sexuality and/or identity, their coming out process and also about University life in broader terms.
- Staff LGBT+ Network
- Trans, non-binary, intersex and questioning peer support group
We fully support and encourage all our students and staff to report incidents of racism, harassment and discrimination. This is through INK for Students or the Reporting Tool for Staff. Students needing additional support during particularly difficult times are also welcomed to contact Student Support & Wellbeing.
We recognise that it can be challenging to know how to support other members of our community facing discrimination and harassment or speaking out when we witness or hear transphobia. We want to encourage all students to stand and be an ally of the LGBT+ community. Here are some tips on how to be an ally to the community, no matter your gender identity or sexuality:
- Be open to learning about the adversity faced by LGBTQIA+ people
Educating yourself, and learning about the difficulties faced by those within the community is an important part of being an ally. By being open to listen and learn about the problems, we can better understand the importance of pride month, and can in turn become a better ally.
- Understand our own privileges
By understanding our own privileges, we are able to become more aware of certain things we don’t need to think about purely because of the way we were born. It can help us to better empathise with groups like the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Familiarise yourself with the correct language
Making sure to use the correct terminology and being respectful is vital to being a good ally. If you are unsure of someone’s pronouns or label, ask them respectfully. Stonewall have put together a helpful glossary.
- Stand up against discrimination or hateful language
Of course, we should all fight back against any discrimination we encounter, but often this can be intimidating, especially when the hateful language is spoken by a friend or family member. Correcting those around us when they may harm the LGBTQIA+ community is vital, as we must all hold each other to account for our actions and words. We encourage everyone to stand up for those that may be marginalised in society, and remind others that there is no room for hateful or discriminatory language or actions.
Using the resources available removes the burden of questions, explanations and discussions from members of the LGBTQIA+ community – the links below are an excellent starting point for people wanting to understand more.
Our LGBT+ network have a fantastic blog that covers ongoing news, events and challenges – stay up to date with the issues affecting the community.
For more information and support please visit LGBTQ+ webpages.
Find out more about the University of Kent’s commitment to creating and supporting a balanced, inclusive and diverse community.