Oxford Brookes University positively affirms and supports diversity. That means I can be open about my sexuality, and feel confident that staff or students shouldn’t react negatively or discriminate. It’s a value which needs to be maintained actively: this is not how much of the world is.
My job title is ‘Research Fellow’, my key responsibilities are the care of a dozen ‘special collections’ (library, archives, art) and research. Most of the collections are related around the Methodist religious movement (though personally I’m not a member of any religious group). My own historical interests, on which I’ve written and published, lie with society, culture and religion in eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Britain.
So that’s the work ‘me’. When I was coming to terms with my sexuality I read around the historic context, and came to recognise that in many, possibly most, cultures men have been husbands and fathers while also being attracted to, and in relationships with, other men. That tells you something of the ‘rainbow’ me. Brookes has always been an affirmative community; three colleagues in particular supported me through ‘coming out’, they were wonderful. I’ve tried to be there similarly for others.
This is a diverse world; we have nothing to offer each other beside our differences. Oxford Brookes embodies that in its academic activities, taught and researched, as well as in its corporate values and life.
“Brookes has always been an affirmative community; three colleagues in particular supported me through ‘coming out’, they were wonderful. I’ve tried to be there similarly for others.”