University of Birmingham celebrates LGBT History Month 2015

Each February, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans (LGBT) History Month takes place, celebrating the lives and achievements of the LGBT community.

The University of Birmingham will be observing LGBT History Month with a range of performances, talks, and events across campus.

The University has risen 180 places in the 2015 Stonewall Equality Index rankings and is now placed 79th in the UK for creating an inclusive workplace. The Index assesses employers’ activities in a range of areas, including policy and practice, the promotion of senior lesbian, gay and bisexual role models, and the training of employees on discrimination issues.

The University is celebrating LGBT History Month by changing ‘Old Joe,’ the clock tower, purple on Tuesday 3 February until Friday 6 February from dusk until dawn. Purple is historically associated with the LGBT community. It is also a symbolic colour worn on Spirit Day, a commemoration that began in 2010 to show support for young people who are bullied because of their sexual orientation.

Dr Markus P. Bidell from Hunter College (USA) will give a talk on the historical treatment of LGBT people. In addition, Flatpack Film Festival will be screening a series of short films from worldwide LGBT filmmakers, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts will host a gallery tour exploring issues of gender, sexuality and identity in its works.

Professor Adam Tickell, Provost and Vice-Principal, and LGBTQ Champion said: ‘The University is proud of its diverse staff and student bodies and recognises the significant impact LGBTQ people have had on the University, both as a research institution and a welcoming place to work. This is clearly reflected in Stonewall’s decision to rank us the 79th most gay-friendly employer in the country, as well as our staff LGBT Rainbow Network being Highly Commended in the charity’s Network Group of the Year award category. With further initiatives in the pipeline and engaging events such as those organised for LGBT History Month, I hope to see our position as an inclusive workplace rise further up Stonewall’s rankings.’

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the University of Birmingham Diversity Forum, Professor Martin Stringer added: ‘Celebrating LGBT history month is an important part of the University’s programme to promote equality and diversity. We are proud to be in the top 100 in Stonewall’s Equality Index and hope to further strengthen and increase our position in the future.’

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Notes to editors

For all media enquiries please contact Faye Jackson in the University of Birmingham press office on +44 (0)121 414 6029. For out of hours enquires please contact the duty press officer on +44 (0)7789921165.

For further details of the University of Birmingham activities and the programme of events please visit the website.