Name: Charlie Bell
Role: Senior Admissions Advisor
How would you describe yourself in terms of the LGBTQUA+ community?
Cisgender Lesbian Woman
We recognise that multiple identities and diverse experiences are not always acknowledged. Quite the opposite, we want to celebrate how intersectionality factors in your experience.
Trans rights are women's rights. LGBTQUA+ rights are women's rights. Black rights are women's rights. We can't have one without the other. While I'm neither trans nor black, it's important that when I'm advocating for women's
rights, that I'm also considering rights of our black friends, and other identities in the community. This is prevalent in sports in particular, where, as a member of the Rainbow Rexes, an international LGBTQUA+ Lacrosse Club, conversations around inclusive and appropriate clothing for women overlaps heavily with what our trans friends and players are "allowed" to wear. Skorts are the traditional clothing for Women's Rules lacrosse, but women, men and non-binary folk and many others may not be comfortable in such sportswear. So, when we fight for more inclusive clothing options, we're not just fighting for women.
How would you describe your journey?
Confusing! Feelings aren't solid or tangible, which made it really hard for me to filter through the comphet to see the real me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't think about it too hard! Don't worry about fitting in, don't judge other people and don't judge yourself - only then will you realise who you really are.
How long have you been at Warwick and in what context?
I've been working here since February and I've been loving it ever since!
What can we do to make sports more welcoming for LGBTQUA+ people?
Move away from gendered language. Instead of calling it "Men's Lacrosse" and "Women's Lacrosse", consider how that will affect our trans and non-binary friends. Instead, stick to "Men's Rules Rugby" to make it clear that this just refers to a difference in rules, and NOT who is allowed to play. I'd even encourage the world to take "Men's" and "Women's" out of the definitions entirely, maybe swap it for "semi-contact" and "full contact". I know this would apply to many other sports too!
How can we support + people to not give up on their sporting dreams?
Shout out more about LGBTQUA+ success stories: People need good role models to see that their dream IS in fact achievable. When we see someone being successful and think, 'hey, they look like/are like me!', we can begin to imagine
ourselves in the same places.