Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + (LGBT+) Staff Network
Here in Edinburgh Napier University’s LGBT+ network we benefit from a large number of people, who while they themselves may not have LGBT+ lived experience, nevertheless can still play a full part in our network. These people actively help to create a culture which allows people of all sexualities and gender identities to thrive. Some of these people may choose to identify themselves as an LGBT+ Ally, or Ally for short.
We define Allies as:
"Individuals who believe that LGBT people should be able to be themselves at work and reach their full potential, and who support those with identities other than their own".
At Edinburgh Napier University we know that allies have a critical role to play in creating inclusive environments and are key to advancing fair treatment for their LGBT+ family, friends and colleagues. A large number of our Allies are also members of our LGBT+ Network, and some of whom are featured below.
We've worked with Stonewall Scotland to offer a short personal development programme to support our Allies. For more information on this, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am pleased to play an active part in Edinburgh Napier’s LGBT+ network as an ally. Over the course of my 30+ year career in academia I have witnessed many changes in the ways in which LGBT+ colleagues and students are treated in academia. Happily, most of these changes have been positive, but there is still so much work to be done to create genuinely inclusive environments in which (1) diversity is valued and (2) all are valued equally. As the University’s Research Lead for Equality and Diversity, I hope that I can learn from the network members to help improve inclusion for all at Edinburgh Napier.
I work as a Mental Health Adviser in Student Counselling and Mental Wellbeing Team. I am an ally and advocate for the LGBT+ community. I have worked as a mental health professional for 36 years in the NHS, further education and now in higher education and have all too often seen the devastating effects of homophobia and transphobia on people’s mental health. I am involved in training of staff around mental health and LGBT+ awareness and support, and our recent LGBT+ service audit and the creation of safe spaces for students within the Counselling and Mental Wellbeing service. I am keen to tackle the discrimination and stigma that affects the LGBT+ community and am very pleased to be part of the LGBT+ Staff Network that is already impacting positively on the culture of our University. Creating an inclusive environment benefits us all.
Most of my working life has involved leading or supporting others, particularly during change or conflict, and the management of complex and often challenging situations involving people. These experiences have definitely shaped my absolute commitment to the concept of inclusion – valuing people as individuals and doing something about inequality when it occurs. I have a number of friends and family with LGBT+ lived experience and I know all too well how difficult ‘just being themselves’ has been at different points in their lives. I find this unjust and it’s what makes me a passionate Ally and supporter of our Network.