Sexual Orientation

  • 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, biphobic or transphobic behaviour is never tolerated. The University seeks to cultivate a safe, supportive and inclusive environment, where all members of its community can be open about their sexuality and gender identity. 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.

    LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 or the gender of their partner - use gender neutral terms and the pronoun "they".

    Homophobic, biphobic or transphobic 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. Such behaviour can take the form of name calling, derogatory jokes, intrusive questions, “outing” etc. More specifically, biphobic abuse can include saying a bisexual person is untrustworthy, indecisive or 'greedy'. Using the wrong name or pronoun in relation to a transgender person or persistently referring to their gender identity history are forms of transphobic abuse.

    If you are a member of staff who has experienced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse, harassment or bullying you can email for confidential advice.

    The policy and procedure on harassment and bullying provides information about advice and support for staff and students.

    Oxford Brookes is proud to have joined the Stonewall Diversity Champions’ Programme. Stonewall is the campaigning organisation for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    The University has established an LGBTQ+ Staff 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 Jayne Stuart (extn. 5439) or email

    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 1st Thursday, 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.

  • LGBTQ+ people taking on international travel assignments should consider additional safety measures when travelling to certain countries. If you’re travelling to another country for work, or supporting a colleague or student who is planning a trip, you can find advice for LGBTQ+ tourists travelling abroad on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.

    You can also access country-specific information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Stonewall produces Global Workplace Briefings providing advice about the legal, socio-cultural and workplace situation for LGBTQ+ people in the specified country.

    For an overview of the current situation globally, ILGA produces a map showing sexual orientation laws around the world. ILGA – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association - is the world federation of national and local organisations dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people across the globe.