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Oxford Brookes is committed to creating an environment where staff, students and other stakeholders, whatever their sexuality or gender identity, feel welcomed, accepted and valued; and where homophobic behaviour is never tolerated. The University will cultivate a supportive environment for all members of its community who wish it to be known that they are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or other sexuality or gender identity (LGBT+). However, it is the right of the individual to choose whether they wish to be open about their sexuality in the University. To “out” someone without their permission is a form of harassment and will be treated as such.
LGBT+ people come from diverse backgrounds with very different life experiences. However, we live in a society which generally assumes that everyone is “straight”. This can make some LGBT+ people feel excluded. It is important to listen to how people describe their own identity, gender, partners and relationships and reflect their choice of language. We should avoid making assumptions about a person’s sexual orientation and whether a partner is a man or a woman - use gender neutral terms and the plural pronoun “they”.
Homophobic abuse, harassment or bullying (such as name calling, derogatory jokes, intrusive questions, etc.) are serious disciplinary offences and will be dealt with under the policy and procedure on harassment and bullying . Even where some LGBT people have reclaimed derogatory words such as “queer” to describe themselves, it isn’t appropriate at Oxford Brookes to use these words to describe people.
Oxford Brookes is proud to have joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions’ Programme. Stonewall is the campaigning organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s equality.
The University has established an LGBT+ Forum to support staff in their working lives and to promote awareness of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. For further information contact Jane Butcher (extn. 5443) or Sebastian Blake (extn. 2749) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff may also wish to join the LGBT Social Group open to those at Oxford Brookes, the University of Oxford (and its colleges) and the Oxford University Press. The group meets regularly on the 1stThursday, 3rd Sunday and 4th Monday of every month and events are organized by different members of the group. They also have an active mailing list.