At the LGBT+ Association we run a series of smaller campaigns on topics affecting LGBT+ students. Many of these were coordinated with students from all over the country through the National Union of Students LGBT+ Campaign, before our Union’s departure from the NUS. As an independent Students Union we have been successful with our own campaigns, such as Transform, and look to work alongside charities such as Stonewall.
Our two largest campaigns for the year, Transform and Out in Education, have their own tabs on our home page!
EmbrAce is a support and social group within the LGBT+ Association catering for all those who identify on the asexual or aromantic spectrums. EmbrAce was established in 2017 by Han Newman, our first Plus Officer, to give a greater voice within LGBT+ communities to asexual and aromantic people. We hold monthly meet-ups, ranging from educational events to fun, chilled activities all led by our Plus Officer, in liaison our Trans Officer.
Outspoken is a social support group for students at Lougborough University and Colleges who identify as Queer, Trans or Intersex People of Colour.
Play With Pride
We aim to break down the barriers faced by LGBT+ student s and create a welcoming and inclusive sporting community.
At Loughborough our mission is to actively educate both AU members and the wider community, and to sustain an environment where all LGBT+ students can participate in any sporting activity feeling included, accepted and supported.
WE AIM TO HELP THROUGH:
- Delivering advice and support for LGBT+ students
- Raising awareness of the barriers faced by LGBT+ students in sport
- Educating the wider student body
- Highlighting that we should celebrate those who 'Play with Pride'.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN:
Sport is a huge part of Loughborough University life!
We encourage students to take part in physical activity and exercise at a level that suits them, whether it's participating in our internationally recognised performance program or being involved in our MyLifestyle classes and sessions. At the heart of Loughborough Sport is the Athletic Union, with over 4000 members. It’s important that we communicate to the student body the importance of appreciating diversity of all minorities within sport.
As an institution with such a national sporting presence it's important for us to take up the ethos to 'Play with Pride' . The campaign aims to help break down some of the barriers that LGBT students face when it comes to participating in sport.
WHAT WE ARE DOING:
Loughborough Students' Union operates a Zero Tolerance to Homophobic Behaviour Policy.
Should you experience homophobic behaviour related to participating in sport, please report this to our Play with Pride Ambassadors (Club Chairs and Captains) who have been specifically trained and will deal with situation immediately.
Alternatively, contact any of the following who will provide you with the support you need:
- The Welfare Rep on your hall committee
- Lauren Durkan, Sport Executive Officer
- Matt Youngs, Welfare & Diversity Executive Officer
- A member of the LGBT+ Association Committee
Student Support Services are available to all students for confidential support during opening hours.
The Play with Pride campaign launched on the 12th November 2014 at the Loughborough Football Mens 1’s Big Match, the team’s first match of the year, where Loughborough would go on to beat Nottingham. The night was a huge success, consisting of a Play with Pride themed meal, and speeches from numerous prominent university faculty such as VC Bob, who pledged his support for the campaign. The entire Loughborough team wore rainbow socks, and the LGBT+ flag was walked out onto the pitch before kick-off.
The campaign also had a presence at Big Bucs Wednesday, and won Local LGBT Campaign of the Year at the Out in Education Awards 2015!
Below is Charlie Dale, the 2014/2015 LGBT+ Association Chair and Play With Proud founder, accepting the award.
The campaign is currently endorsed and supported by many professional sporting stars around the world including Paula Radcliffe, Adam Gemili, Jamie Dwyer and Sir Clive Woodward.
If you're involved with sports at Loughborough in any way and identify as LGBT then we would love to hear your experience and any thoughts you might have regarding the campaign. Feel free to set our Play with Pride banner as your Facebook cover photo to show your support! You can also pledge your support to the campaign here.
Along the same vein, in 2017 the LGBT+ Association collaborated with My Lifestyle to organise a football tournament celebrating LGBT+ students in sport. A team made up entirely of members of the LGBT+ Association took part!
Out At Uni
Out at Uni is a campaign that highlights the coming out experience of students on campus. The purpose of the campaign is to highlight the differences of individual experience and to show others that there is no single way to ‘come out’.
Previously in this campaign, the Association has released a video to illustrate this, distributed leaflets to highlight the inclusivity of Loughborough on campus, and released anonymous stories of students' coming out expereinces.
Come Out for LGBT+ is a Stonewall campaign that encourages allies to come out in support of LGBT+ in order to make our world a more accepting place for people of all sexualities and gender identities. It's often said that silence is complicity. By being loud in our support for LGBT+ people, i.e. 'coming out' for LGBT, we can make real steps towards making safe and welcoming communities for LGBT+ people to live without discrimination or marginalisation.
From the Stonewall website:
“We all have a part to play in creating a world where everyone, everywhere can be themselves. There’s a whole range of ways you can Come Out For LGBT to show your support and have an impact on the lives of LGBT people you know, and many more that you don’t.”
The LGBT+ Association plans to join this campaign and encourage students and faculty at the university to come out in support of LGBT+ people.
Watch our facebook page for our progress!
Each year we use infographics and events to help bring awareness to the variety of sexualities and genders under the LGBT+ umbrella, often in conjunction with national awareness periods. For example Transgender Awareness Month, Asexuality Awareness Week, and Spirit Day.
Every October, we highlight the achievements of prominent black LGBT+ people for Black History Month. We do believe the championing of LGBT+ People of Colour must not be constrained to a single month, as it's important to uplift voices that have historically and systematically been overwritten. Because of this we are sure to make all of our campaigns, whether online or not, inclusive of people of all cultural and religious backgrounds. We have also held events specifically for LGBT+ People of Colour, such as the yearly Minority Within A Minority panel, and continue to strive to do more.
We also hold a non-specific online awareness campaign during the festive period at the end of each year. In 2014 this was “12 Days of Sexuality” consisting of an infographic a day defining a sexual or gender identity, and shared around social media. In 2015 it was named “12 Days of Identity”.
We hoped for the campaign to educate those who weren’t aware of many of the identities under the LGBT+ umbrella!
Past Campaigns: Out in Sport
Out in Sport was launched in 2013 and was re-branded to become Play with Pride in 2014. The campaign was launched with a drinks reception to which all of the AU sports team captains were invited to and ended with an LGBT themed night at the Students' Union.