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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.

Staff Pride Network Newsletter – Issue 5

Staff Pride Network Newsletter – Issue 5
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Welcome to the February 2018 edition of the
Staff Pride Network newsletter!

Happy LGBT+ History Month! As part of a diverse calendar of events (see the events section below for details), on Thursday 8 February we will launch our new official University of Edinburgh Rainbow Lanyards. This is a big step for the University – with funding from Communications & Marketing, we’ve decided on two designs for LGBT+ and Ally staff members. With such an obvious symbol, we can show to new staff, students, alumni and visitors that our workplace is inclusive, and our campuses can become walking rainbows! You can choose between the ‘University of Edinburgh’ or ‘University of Edinburgh LGBT+ Ally’ designs. Pick yours up at an event, or email us and we will send it to you in internal mail.

To reach out to the 13,000 staff across the University, we have ambitions to achieve SPN reps in every School or building, and Peter Tennant is leading this Site Rep project. Please read his introduction in this newsletter and email him if interested.

On a corporate level, we worked with Procurement to improve policy wording and they have now included a new ‘LGBT+ community benefit’ in their supplier contracts.

As well as the regular Central & KB lunchtime and evening socials and joint staff-student network monthly lunch, Gina organised a poignant event in November commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance and in December Remus organised collection boxes in Uni buildings and a World AIDS Day discussion on HIV stigma.

Finally I’d like to express my thanks to all the SPN volunteers for their time and dedication, resulting in the University rising 132 places in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index in the last year. At their Workplace Conference in November we were delighted to feature as a best practice example of a network starting up. We look forward to continuing our efforts to make the University an even more inclusive place to work and study.

Best wishes,
Jonathan MacBride
Co-chair, Staff Pride Network


Socials – Date change and call for venue suggestions

Our monthly socials now occur on the first Friday of every month. This is just to make things a bit more consistent, and keep us all on the same page! We hope you like the new venue at Checkpoint on Bristo Place, again fully accessible. Catch us there from 5.30 till late.

World AIDS Day fundraising

Huge congratulations to Remus Valsan who through his efforts managed to raise £94.01 for Waverley Care and £28.07 for the National AIDS Trust. Well done!

SPN Book Group

The SPN Book Group has now been meeting since October and we have a small group of passionate book readers choosing an eclectic mix of books. We meet on the third Thursday of the month at 6pm in the St Andrews Brewing Company on Potterrow (formerly The Potting Shed). Read more…

Take part in research on LGBT+ employees and business leaders

Do you want to contribute to the empowerment of LGBT+ people at work and in business? If so, now is your chance to take part in an exciting project that aims to do just that. Also you will have opportunity of winning a £50 love2shop voucher! Researchers at Aston University are conducting an online survey to better understand the psychological experiences of LGBT+ people within the workplace, either as employees or as owner-managers of a business/social enterprise. The survey takes around 15 to 20 minutes to complete and yourself as well as your employer/organisation will remain anonymous. The study is being funded by the British Academy and will be used to inform policies and practices surrounding LGBT+ inclusivity within workplaces as well as enabling the growth of LGBT+ entrepreneurs within the UK economy. For more details and to receive an online link to the survey, please click here.

LGBT+ Football 5-a-side

Edinburgh’s LGBT football team, HotScots FC are having a 5-a-side competition in February for LGBT History Month.

It is being held at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh, on Saturday 17th February 2018, 1pm-4pm. There will be complimentary soup and sandwiches afterwards at the venue.

The fee for competition is £5 per player, and each team can have up to a maximum of 8 players. Get in touch with Stuart Mallen at if you’d like to participate.

Pride Saltire launch

The launch of Pride Saltire is only two weeks away! There will be much to do, with entertainment, a licenced social engagement bar, and joining in with the community and business fair, all held at the beautiful Cockenzie House in East Lothian. Keep an eye on the Pride Saltire Facebook and Twitter pages for more announcements to come.

LGBT+ British Muslims study

The Network has received a request from a PhD student examining psychological wellbeing, acculturation and identity amongst British Muslims of Pakistani heritage who have same-sex attraction. Read the full request.

Call for site rep volunteers

My name is Peter Tennant and as Site Rep Lead I’m looking for volunteers from across the University to be Site Reps for their area. The main purpose of the role is to help to promote the SPN and upcoming events, but also act as a local point of reference to feedback info and ideas. Based at the Western General campus, I am a post-doctoral researcher working on therapeutic gene editing and in my spare time I love to bake, but thankfully I’m also a keen runner. I am really excited to take on this lead role and hope that through recruiting Site Reps for all areas of the university, we can reach all LGBT+ colleagues and allies. I am passionate about ensuring that the great work the SPN does benefits all LGBT+ colleagues and allies, no matter where in the university they may be based. That’s why we need you. Remember this is your network, we want it to work for you!

If you wish to take part, please get in touch with me at

Stonewall conference feedback

Carol Dow attended the Stonewall Conference alongside our co-chair Jonathan, and she had some notes to feed back on the sessions she attended. Read more…

Take part in a survey about homophobia in sport

We have been contacted by an undergraduate Sports and Exercise Science student from Napier University whose honours project looks into the low numbers of LGBT+ athletes, and homophobia in sport, sport to hopefully find ways to overcome this about allow people to freely take part in any activity without fear of judgement. To this end, she is seeking respondents to a short, anonymous questionnaire about their experiences in or around sport. If you wish to take part, you can take the survey here.

Transgender Remembrance Day 2017

Transgender Remembrance Day 2017 was held on 19 November 2017. The event was organised by our Trans Rep Gina Maya, and more than forty people attended the event, staff and students, LGBT+ and Allies. You can read more about the event on Gina’s website.

TransEDU launch – report

TransEDU is a website and resource that provides data on and for transgender students and staff in Further and Higher Education, funded by Strathclyde University as well as the Leadership Council and the Scottish Grant Council. Our Trans Representative Gina Maya went along to the launch at Strathclyde University on 14 December 2017. Read more.
SPN and PrideSoc lunch
Date: Wednesday 7 February 2018
Time: 12:00 -14:00
Location: Kings Buildings Centre
Facebook event
Poetry and Place: Queer Space
Date: Wednesday 7 February 2018
Time: 16:00 – 17:00
Location: Old Library, Geography Building
Event page on LGBT History Month site
Pariah – SPN film screening and panel
Date: Thursday 8 February 2018
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: G.04, 50 George Square
Facebook event
Queer AF Cabaret
Date: Saturday 10 February 2018
Time: 19:00 – 01:00
Location: Cabaret Bar, Pleasance
Facebook event
SPN Coffee Social – Central area
Date: Wednesday 14 February 2018
Time: 13:00-14:00
Location: Teviot Committee Room
Facebook event
SPN Coffee Social – King’s Buildings
Date: Wednesday 14 February 2018
Time: 13:00-14:00
Location: Upstairs cafe, Swann Building
Facebook event
SPN LGBT+ Book Group
Date: Thursday 15 February 2018
Time: 17:45 – 19:15
Location: The Potting Shed
SPN calendar
Pride Saltire Launch
Date: 17 February 2018
Time: 12:00-17:00
Location: Cockenzie House, East Lothian
Facebook event
Panel event: Past, Present and Future of Pronouns
Date: Thursday 22 February 2018
Time: 18:00 – 19:30
Location: LG.06, DHT
SPN calendar
SPN Queer Research Showcase: Performance lecture “The Five Ages”
Date: Friday 23 February 2018
Time: 12:30 – 13:30
Location: G.01, 50 George Square
Eventbrite page
SPN Queer Research Showcase: Queer Film Studies
Date: Monday 26 February 2018
Time: 12:30 – 13:30
Location: Practice Suite, 1.15 CMB
Eventbrite page
SPN closing event: Let’s Talk About Intersectionality
Date: Wednesday 28 February 2018
Time: 18:00 – 19:30
Location: Business School Auditorium
Eventbrite page



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