IHW's Athena SWAN LGBTQ+ group highlights important dates in the equality and diversity calendar

As one of the more recent groups to be established, the IHW Athena SWAN LGBTQ+ group is working with the Athena Swan Self Assessment Team to ensure that our institute is a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ colleagues and students. The group is made up of those who are members of these different communities and those who want to be allies.

Photo of many tealights

January and February are important months for remembering both attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, but also the progress that has been made, with Holocaust Memorial Day in January and LGBTQ+ History Month in February.

In many countries, being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer still risks persecution, imprisonment and may lead to your murder. Discrimination and vilification are often part of the everyday experience for those who are LGBTQ+. Those who are straight need to ask – do you want that for friends, colleagues, family, children? Building a supportive environment in IHW is something that we should all be happy to support. 

Rhiann McLean, current chair of the group, said:

"LGBTQ+ history month and Holocaust Memorial Day offer us the opportunity to reflect on the long battle for LGBTQ+ rights and how discrimination is still a fabric daily life for many members of the community. I would encourage anyone who wants to learn more about LGBTQ+ history to focus on the most marginalised voices of history, including black trans activists, to challenge our collective historical blind spots."

As well as the resources below, you can follow the @uofglgbt twitter account hosted by the University of Glasgow LGBT+ Network to find out more about local opportunities to support LGBT+ staff and students.

Holocaust Memorial Day: 27 January 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January remembers the many peoples and communities who suffered under the Nazis, as well as other genocides in the 20th century. For us, this includes remembering the persecution and murder of gays and lesbians. Persecution of those who are LGBTQ+ continues to this day – sometimes obvious, often hidden – but never something that should be part of a fair and just society.


LGBTQ+ History Month: February

February sees the start of LGBTQ+ History Month. In the UK this is observed during the month of February to coincide with the 2003 abolition of Section 28, which stated that local authorities were not allowed to "intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality". LGBTQ+ History Month Scotland have set this year’s theme as "Unsung’" to honour the unheard voices of LGBTQ+ history, including people of colour, disabled people and transgender people. This is an opportunity to acknowledge and learn more about LGBTQ+ history and promote LGBTQ+ equality. Although the pandemic has made it more difficult this year, there are lots of online events listed on the LGBT+ History Month calendar.


Join our Athena SWAN LGBTQ+ working group

If you would like to become a member of our Athena SWAN LGBTQ+ group, please email IHW Admin, or contact the group chair for further information or a chat.  

The group is open to anyone interested in supporting equality and inclusiveness for LGBTQ+ staff and students (including those who are not LGBTQ+ themselves but wish to contribute to this important work). 

First published: 2 May 2018