LGBT+ Related Information for Staff

Rainbow Flag 2015

LGBTQ+ Network

LGBTQ+ Network – The University of Glasgow Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender + Network was one of the first in Higher Education in Scotland. The network welcomes all academic and non-academic staff, PhD students. The network aims to provide a welcoming environment in which LGBT staff can:

  • meet regularly for social events; 
  • discuss LGBT issues in a safe space; 
  • receive information about relevant LGBT events within and outwith the University.
  • inform University policy with respect to LGBT equality and diversity; representatives attend the LGBT+ Equality Group.

University of Glasgow's LGBT+ Equality Group

The LGBT+ Equality Group is chaired by the University’s LGBT+ Equality Champion and has staff and student representatives. The group acts as a channel of communication where issues affecting those who identify as LGBT+ can be raised and addressed or referred to appropriate bodies for action.

Staff LGBT+ Role Models

The University believes individuals can inspire and empower others to change the world. Our staff Role Models share their experiences of being LGBT+ in their workplaces at the University and aim to show that being yourself should never be a barrier to success.

Read all about our fantastic Role Models

Be an ally for your LGBT+ colleagues and students

Effective allyship is a crucial ingredient in combatting LGBT+ discrimination and creating more welcoming environments, not only for LGBT+ people but for everyone.

  • Educate yourself on LGBT+ perspectives. Ask questions but in a respectful way.
  • Use Pronouns in your email signature and Zoom profile and specify them when you verbally introduce yourself to show you are open to others using them. Instructions for Outlook and Zoom are shown below. 
  • Contact the LGBT+ Network to see of they need help with events or fundraising.
  • Take part in LGBT+ events/celebrations - walk in a Pride march.
  • Be Open to someone raising an issue with something you have said; don’t think of it as a criticism. Instead, understand it as an expression of their trust in you to listen.
  • Speak out where you see or hear inappropriate behaviour/language.

The Royal Society of Chemistry have produced a Practising Active LGBT+ Allyship booklet as part of their LGBT+ Toolkit for inclusivity in the physical sciences.

How do I add my pronouns to my University Outlook?
In Outlook click 'File' at the top of your screen, then click 'Options' - this may be near the bottom on the left hand side of your screen. A new 'Outlook Options' screen will then open. Click 'Mail' on the left hand menu. You are presented with options within the 'Compose messages' section - on the right hand side of the screen will be a option for 'Signatures'. If you click that field, it will then show you any current signatures you have set up.  Simply add your pronouns anywhere it looks appropriate. 

This can be as simple as adding, for example, (my pronouns are she/hers) below your name or job title.  If you want to add some context, you can add a link such the link to the University's pronouns page. 

How do I add my pronouns to my University Zoom account?
Sign in to your UofG Zoom Profile and update your details to include your preferred pronouns and simply save the change.

Supporting our LGBT+ colleagues in their careers


Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people bring value to organisations by providing a different set of experiences and perspectives. The University recognises the benefits of these perspectives and may support suitable candidates for the following programmes, as part of our Diversity Champion programme participation. 

If you think these programmes are for you, please review Stonewall's programme information to find out more then speak to your line manager. 

LGBT Leadership programme

This two-day residential programme brings together senior leaders who identify as LGBT from across a range of sectors and industries. You will reflect on what it means to be an authentic leader and explore how to create a more inclusive culture within your organisation.

Stonewall Scotland LGBT Role Models Programme

Stonewall Scotland believes in the power of stories to inspire individuals and empower people to create change. Read their Scottish Role Models guide which aims to highlight the diversity of Scotland’s LGBT community and show that being yourself should never be a barrier to career success.

Supporting a colleague or student to Transition gender?

Find out what you need to know if you are supporting a staff member or student who is transitioning gender. 

There is a lot of information out there, some of it specific to Higher and Further Eduction too.

The EDU can assist you but please take the time to review the following resources.

LGBT+ and going abroad to work?

Make sure you know what to expect before you go. Every country varies in its acceptance, awareness and understanding of the LGBT+ community, and it is important for those in the LGBT+ community to understand what type of environment they will be going to. The types of laws, policies, and organisations present in any country are huge factors in determining its social environment, so these are all things you should consider before travelling abroad for work/research.

Research your destination thoroughly, and identify issues which may affect your experiences there, for example occurrences of homophobia, or failure to recognise same-sex marriage rights. There may also be LGBTQ organisations in your destination country that you can contact for advice.

If you have any concerns speak to your line manager/Supervisor.  

The following external websites will help you in your research. Although these external sources are reputable, please use this information with caution.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has LGBT Foreign Travel Advice (with external resource links). They also have Foreign Travel Advice with the latest travel advice by country including safety and security, entry requirements, travel warnings and health.  Find the country you are considering visiting, and click on the 'Local Laws and Customs' link. 

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association - Every year, ILGA produces maps on Gay and Lesbian rights in the world as well as its State Sponsored Homophobia report. You can download them from their site. 

Stonewall have prepared excellent resources which is a country-specific briefing outlining laws and attitudes.

AIG have developed a page for LGBTQ Travel Safety Tips.

 

Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion

The University of Glasgow is proud to be a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion displaying our commitment to equality for LGBT staff, students and potential staff and students.

As a Diversity Champion we have access to best practice in policy and procedure development, networking opportunities with other organisations, and an opportunity to bench mark ourselves against competitors.

Stonewall DC Black on White

Pronouns and LGBTQ+ Terminology

Pronouns

What are pronouns?
Words used to refer to or by people talking (I or you) or when someone or something that is being talked about (she, he, it, them, and they). 

Often people tend to think "he/him" refers to a man or a boy, and "she/her" refers to a woman or a girl, as these pronouns are gendered in the English language. People also tend to make assumptions about someone's gender based on their appearance or name. However, these assumptions are not always correct.  

Another benefit of using pronouns, and encouraging others to use them, is that it can help when someone has a name we are not familiar with.   

What are some commonly used pronouns?
She/her/hers and he/him/his are a few commonly used pronouns. 

Some people may chose to use they/them/their.  People will be familiar using these words to refer to groups, but they can also be used to refer to a singular person instead of he/him/his or she/her/hers.  

For example: "They (meaning just Ashley) emailed over all the information you need" or "Ashley sent their notes around before the class" and "Ashley needs that report, can you print it off for them?"

Find other examples of pronouns at Trans Student Educational Resources 

How do I use pronouns or ask someone what pronouns they use?
When you do not yet know which pronouns someone goes by, it is generally a good idea to use "they/them".

Asking and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity. If you are unsure of a colleague's or student's preferred pronoun, first and foremost you should listen, both to them and any others close to the individual who may use the correct pronouns.  

If you are not sure what pronouns to use for someone, it is okay to ask, but do make sure to share your own too, e.g. "My pronouns are she/her, by the way. What pronouns do you go by?"

We encourage all staff to share their pronouns with their colleagues if they feel comfortable doing so, but nobody should ever be forced to share their pronouns if they do not wish to.

If you are asking as part of an introduction exercise and you want to quickly explain what gender pronouns are, you can try something like this: “Tell us your name, where you come from, and your pronouns if you feel comfortable sharing. That means the pronouns that you use in reference to yourself."

If you're chairing a meeting, try "Let's go around and introduce ourselves with our names, our pronouns if we feel comfortable sharing, and what we do. I'll start. I'm Jane, my pronouns are she/her, and I work in the School of Life Sciences."

What if I make a mistake?
It’s okay! Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. The best thing to do, if you use the wrong pronoun for someone, is to say something right away, like “Sorry, I meant (insert pronoun)”

If you realise your mistake after the fact, apologise in private and move on.  There's no need to make a big deal out of your mistake or draw attention to it. Just try your best to get it right in the future.

Why is it important to respect people’s pronouns?
When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, and alienated.  Repeated and purposefully using an incorrect pronoun however, constitutes bullying and harassment.

What can I do to make it easier for others, even if I use the more commonly used pronouns?
1. Indicating your preferred pronouns in your email signature helps to normalise an action that makes it easier for transgender and non-binary members of our community to express themselves. It also helps other people feel confident that they are addressing you, as you wish them to.  Another benefit of using pronouns and encouraging them is that it can help when someone has a name we are not familiar.   

2. You can also include your pronouns in your Zoom profile.  Simply sign into your University Zoom account -at https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/profile to add them.  Make sure you have the latest version (Use the 'Check for Updates' option after clicking your profile picture in the Zoom client app - check out how to do this at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362233-Upgrade-update-to-the-latest-version).  Others in your meeting will also need to have the latest version. 

3. Try introducing your colleagues in such a way that makes their pronouns clear, e.g. "This is Sarah; she works in the School of Engineering" or "This is Dean; they're new to Glasgow."

4. You may hear one of your students or colleagues using the wrong pronoun for someone. In most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them without further embarrassing the individual who has been misgendered. This means saying something like “Alex uses the pronoun she,” and then moving on.

5.  If others are consistently using the wrong pronouns for someone, do not ignore it. It is important to let those who have been misgendered know that you are their ally.  It may be appropriate to approach the individual who has been misgendered and say something like “I noticed that you were being referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier, and I know that can be hurtful. Would you be okay with me taking them aside and reminding them about your pronouns?” Follow up if necessary, but take your cues from the comfort level of the individual. Your actions will be greatly appreciated. 

Inclusive Language
To continue to build a culture which is inclusive of all genders, you should avoid wording that assumes there are only two genders, e.g.:

  • Instead of "ladies and gentlemen", say "everybody", "colleagues", or "friends and guests".
  • Instead of "he/she" (when referring to someone unknown or a universal person), use "they" or "the person".
  • Instead of "men and women", say "people".

Further reading
You can find out and read more about pronouns on MyPronouns.org.

Terminology*

There are a wide range of words and terms that people may use to describe themselves, their identity, and their experience. It is important to note that the language and terminology used is constantly evolving and shifting, as communities and individuals develop new ways to articulate their identities and experiences. 

Gay: Refers to a man who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards men. Also a generic term for lesbian and gay sexuality - some women define themselves as gay rather than lesbian.

Lesbian: Refers to a woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards women.

Bi: Bi is an umbrella term used to describe a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender. Bi people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including, but not limited to, bisexual, pan, queer, and other non-monosexual identities.

Homosexual: This might be considered a more medical term used to describe someone who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards someone of the same gender. The term ‘gay’ is now more generally used.

Cis or Cisgender: Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. Non-trans is also used by some people.

Gender Identity: A person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else (see non-binary below), which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.

Gender Expression: How a person chooses to outwardly express their gender, within the context of societal expectations of gender. A person who does not confirm to societal expectations of gender may not, however, identify as trans. 

Intersex: A term used to describe a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes or whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes male or female.  Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary.

Queer: In the past a derogatory term for LGBT individuals. The term has now been reclaimed by LGBT young people in particular, who don’t identify with specific categories around gender identity and sexual orientation.  Please note though, this term should not be used to describe anyone unless you specifically know they use it to describe themselves.

Questioning: The process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Trans: This was the term most commonly used by participants to describe their status, identity or experience. 'Trans' quite literally means to go beyond or across, and its use in this context originates from the words 'transgender' and 'transsexual' - to traverse gender and / or sex. 'Trans' generally functions as an umbrella term to describe the experience / status of being a different gender from the gender assigned at birth.

  • Trans woman is an identity term used by some women who were assigned male at birth. Some people also use MtF (male-to-female) to describe their experience / identity. Likewise, some people use the term trans feminine to describe their experience / identity of being a trans person who was assigned male at birth, but does not solely identify as a woman.
  • Trans man is an identity term used by some men who were assigned female at birth. Some people also use FtM (female-to-male) to describe their experience. Likewise, some people use the term trans masculine to describe their experience / identity of being a trans person who was assigned female at birth, but does not solely identify as a man.

Non-Binary: Describes identities that do not fit into the man/woman binary. Other terms include genderqueer and genderfluid.

Transgender: Similarly to 'trans', transgender also describes the experience / status of being a different gender from the gender assigned at birth. Increasingly, the short-form term - 'trans' - seems to be preferred and used most widely.

Transsexual: This term is sometimes used by people who change, or intend to change, aspects of their bodily sex. Whilst 'transsexual' has somewhat fallen out of popular usage in the UK, this term is still an important means for many people to articulate their experience. 'Transsexual' is not a derogatory term when used as self-identification, yet the term is not necessarily favoured or used by everyone.

Person of trans experience is sometimes used by people to denote that they have or have had a trans/transgender/transsexual experience, but this is not central to their identity. Similarly, person with a trans history is sometimes used by people who have had a trans/transgender/transsexual experience, and regard this as just another factor of their history, life and experience.

Agender and no gender are terms used by some people to describe feeling outside of or without gender. 

* References: 

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/glossary-terms

https://www.trans.ac.uk/ResourcesInformation/IdentityTerms/tabid/7237/Default.aspx

External Resources