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Staff Pride Network

Staff Pride Network

The Staff Pride Network is an inclusive network that serves as a resource for the rich diversity of LGBT+ employees across the institution, including PhD students who prefer to attend staff events. We strive to take an intersectional approach to providing a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for all people who self identify as part of LGBT+ communities, whether or not they are 'out' in the wider world, and to make LGBT+ issues more visible within the University environment. Different organisations use different acronyms to refer to specific groups, and terminology is always evolving. Our definition of LGBT+ includes, among others, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender fluid, intersex, non-binary, asexual, pansexual and polyamorous. It also includes all those individuals and communities whose sexuality or gender identity is a matter of shared personal, political and/or social experience, as well as those who are LGBT+ allies.

November Newsletter

November Newsletter
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Welcome to the November 2017 edition of the
Staff Pride Network newsletter!

Dear LGBT+ Colleagues and Allies,

My name is Judith Rauhofer and I am delighted to take over the reins from Sharon as the new Co-Chair. I am a lecturer in IT Law at the School of Law, with a distant past as a researcher on legal aspects of queer and gender issues in the 90s. My interest in the Staff Pride Network comes from the motivation to “go back to my roots” and to become more involved in LGBT+ work again. Working with Jonathan, providing diversity as both a woman and an academic co-chair, I see my particular interests in this role in promoting both of those aspects of the Network’s work: encouraging and bringing together queer/LGBT+ scholarship at the University, and establishing an LGBT+-specific element of pastoral care for students at all levels, maybe through the designation of a specific “personal tutor” for LGBT+ queries. I have met some of you already at the Friday evening socials, and look forward to meeting more of you at future events.

Best wishes,



SPN pens now available!

We are excited to provide members with Staff Pride Network black biro pens, made with recycled cardboard. Although we had to sacrifice our beautiful, colourful logo for a simple black design, our logo designer Kael Oakley was happy to help so we could have them made on recycled cardboard instead of the usual plastic. If you would like some for yourself and maybe to share at your office (always good for visibility and attracting new LGBT+ colleagues and allies to register!) you can pick them up at any of our Coffee & Cake, evening social or special events such as our upcoming Transgender Remembrance Day event on 17th November. Alternatively, let us know in advance and you can pick them up from Jonathan at the Business School PGT Office. We hope you like them!

Appeal for Social & Events Volunteers

We are looking for Social & Events volunteers to join our enthusiastic, fun-loving and wonderful team! You’ll be be involved in developing event ideas, and helping to organise them by booking rooms, creating advertising, and performing tasks at the events like welcoming people and setting up catering.

We also need an extra S&E committee member to go to a committee meeting every 6-8 weeks, who will agree the events strategy and coordinate volunteers.

If you think you’d like to take on any of these responsibilities, please contact us at

Transgender Day of Remembrance

In commemoration of Transgender Day of Remembrance on 17 November, the Staff Pride Network is organising a special screening of the Chilean movie A Fantastic Woman (2017). Following the screening, a post-movie panel of speakers will hold an open discussion on the issues the film raises.

Directed by Sebastian Lelio and starring trans actress Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman tells the story of trans character Marina, whose life undergoes upheaval following the death of her lover. The film looks at the attitudes of her lover’s family as well as the reaction of law-enforcers. Winning best screenplay at the 2017 Berlin film festival, the film is described by The Guardian’s Ryan Gilbey as ‘a timely film, but it is its timelessness, as well as its depths of compassion, that qualify it as a great one.’

Please welcome Ayesha Sodha, our new Black & Minority Ethnic Officer!

The Staff Pride Network Committee is thrilled to welcome Ayesha Sodha as our new Black & Minority Ethnic Officer. She is particularly interested in doing what she can to help so that no-one ever feels alone or challenged between being who they are and fitting into where they come from. Her passions are inspiring conversations, the amazing friends she’s been blessed with, fashion, art, travel and climbing on things (mainly trapeze, pole or silks).

“I’m excited to join the Staff Pride Network committee as the BME Officer. As with any new role there’s lots of scope to be creative, but there’s absolutely no point me doing that in ignorance of what the members would like to see. Please feel free to e-mail me about any ideas you have, or have a chat with me at the next social. We would love to have a calendar of events and initiatives that are representative of our BME members, which also provide a new and fun experience for other members. I look forward to meeting you personally in due course.”

World AIDS Day 2017

With World AIDS DAY in just over a month’s time, we will be providing Waverley Care’s tartan ribbons as well as World AIDS Day red ribbons at our Coffee & Cake events and evening socials.

Digital Marketing Officer Jerrard Doran will be flying down to London to run 10km in the Red Run, to raise money for the Brigstowe Project.

“I’ve never done anything like this before (I am a long-established couch potato) so all support is very welcome! The Brigstowe Project is one of the only organisations in Bristol and North Somerset which supports people living with HIV. If proposed funding cuts go through, the charity may well disappear, leaving hundreds of vulnerable people without vital support services. One of my best friends works for this organisation and has seen first hand the immense good it does for the community. I want to raise money to help Brigstowe stay on its feet and continue its vital work. Please give anything you can – all donations welcome!”

You can donate to this excellent cause at Jerrard’s JustGiving page.

Rosie Russell – Transition

Looking back, I guess, like most trans people who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, being transgender was always there but has been repressed. Coming to terms with who I am really only began less than three years ago and it has been a bumpy ride with depression, anxiety, self-doubt (and much worse) featuring along the way. Not to mention the shock (and some hurt caused) to friends and family. I could write much more on that but I’d like to focus on one thing – The University of Edinburgh is still a great place to work and has been incredibly supportive of me since coming out. Read more…

Callum Michie – A Millenial Photographer

As a millennial photographer that works in the printing industry, I’m often told “You’ll not remember…”, “Before your time…” and “Real photography is…” followed by something about going to a photo lab or waiting for the negatives to see what the image looks like or having to make sure the picture was perfect when you took it. Then I tell whoever is making these assumptions “Actually, I run my own darkroom and shoot mostly film”. Read more…

Free LGBTQ yoga classes

Come along to this free yoga class on Saturday evenings for LGBTQ people, with a particular focus on creating an inclusive safe space where trans and non-binary people can practise and feel comfortable. It welcomes beginners as well as seasoned yoga practitioners, and is free – though booking is preferred. You can find out more information on the LGBTQ Yoga Edinburgh Facebook group.

Zoe Robinson – Dissertation: The Invisibility of ‘B’ in ‘LGBTQ’

A PG student from the Business School has been awarded 78 for her dissertation entitled ‘The Invisibility of ‘B’ in ‘LGBTQ’: Shaping a Supportive Working Environment for Bisexual Employees’. Zoe was happy to share it with SPN members and describes her dissertation thus:

‘Heteronormative assumptions, together with binary attitudes toward sexual orientation however have left bisexuality largely misunderstood and overlooked both within the academic sphere and in an organisational context. My dissertation discusses the invisibility of bisexuality in the workplace by exploring disclosure and perception of bisexuality, and organisational supportive practices. In turn, recommendations are made for how firms can best support and maximise the potential of their bisexual employees.’

If you know of any UoE LGBT+ related academic research or dissertations please upload this to the SharePoint or email the mailbox.

You can read Zoe’s full dissertation on the Staff Pride Network SharePoint.

Date: 1 November 2017
Time: 12:00-14:00
Location: Curle Room, King’s Buildings House

Our first joint event where LGBT+ students can meet LGBT+ colleagues and allies in a relaxed, safe space. BLOGS have told us that LGBT+ often is not visible in University academic and professional support staff. We hope as many staff as possible can join this monthly event.

LEAP Sports Scotland + BLOGS discussion group
Date: 2 November 2017
Time: 18:30-20:00
Location: Room G.05, 50 George Square

The group is intended to enable LGBTI+ students and staff to share their thoughts on the topic of LGBTI-inclusive sports within the University, as LEAP are currently developing guidance and key principles for the optimisation of that inclusion within further and higher education settings.

SPN Coffee & Cake – King’s Buildings
Date: 8 November 2017
Time: 13:00-14:00
Location: Upstairs cafe, Swann Building

Join us at our regular monthly coffee afternoon. Please drop in any time for a coffee and cake, catch up with your LGBT+ colleagues and ask a committee member those questions you’ve been dying to have answered!

SPN Coffee & Cake – Central area
Date: 15 November 2017
Time: 13:00-14:00
Location: Teviot Committee Room

Join us at our regular monthly coffee afternoon. Please drop in any time for a coffee and cake, catch up with your LGBT+ colleagues and ask a committee member those questions you’ve been dying to have answered! Please note, the event runs until 2pm but you are welcome to stay and chat as long as you like.

SPN Transgender Day of Remembrance – Screening of A Fantastic Woman
Date: 17 November 2017
Time: 18:00-21:00
Location: Room G.03, 50 George Square

The event both celebrates trans identity and commemorates the victims of transphobic hate crimes. The event will include a screening of the trans movie A Fantastic Woman (2017) with post-panel discussion.

Out in Edinburgh
Date: 30 November 2017
Time: 18:30-20:30
Location: The Street Bar

Some of us will be going to this Out in Edinburgh event “App Culture” How are apps defining LGBT+ culture? If you’d like to meet there beforehand, email the mailbox.




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