Chris Ennew reflects on the findings of Stonewall's 'LGBT in Britain - University Report'.
Stonewall is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights charity in the United Kingdom and is the largest LGBT rights organisation not only in the UK but in Europe. They offer a variety of resources and support to help organisations do all they can to support their LGBT colleagues and students.
As part of our broader commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion, we are working hard with our LGBTQUA+ community to ensure policies, university facilities, accommodation and public spaces are LGBT inclusive. Here at Warwick and across the sector, we have seen many positive developments in recent years, but as the report demonstrates, there is still much for universities to do to ensure that our students feel able to be themselves without being in fear of discrimination and exclusion. And here at Warwick, our Rainbow Taskforce is working to address the broader agenda around inclusion.
Recently, Stonewall commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey asking more than 5,000 lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people across England, Scotland and Wales about their life in Britain today. This report, part of a series based on the research, investigates the specific experiences of 522 LGBT university students who took part.
Some Key Findings of The Report
- More than a third of trans students (36%) and 7% of lesbian, gay and bi students who aren't trans said that they faced negative comments or conduct from university staff in the last year because they are LGBT.
- Three in five trans students (60%) and more than one in five lesbian, gay and bi students who aren't trans (22%) said that they have been the target of negative comments or conduct from other students.
- 7% of trans students report being physically attacked by another student or a member of university staff in the last year because of being trans.
- One in five trans students (20%) said that they were encouraged by university staff to hide or disguise that they are trans.
- Two in five trans students (39%) and more than one in five lesbian, gay and bi students (22%) said they wouldn't feel confident reporting any homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying to university staff.
- More than two in five LGBT students (42%) indicated that they had hidden or disguised that they are LGBT at university in the last year because they were afraid of discrimination.
How Can You Get Involved?
Whether you identify as LGBT or not, there are many ways that you can help to support your LGBTQUA+ colleagues and students:
- Sign up to being a Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and/or Trans Supporter and wear your rainbow or trans pride lanyard with pride – see: warwick.ac.uk/lgbtuasupporters.
- Challenge inappropriate language, homophobic, biphobic and transphobic behaviour if you witness it.
- Attend LGBTQUA+ events.
- Use appropriate pronouns.
- Use gender neutral language in all of your documentation.