Feedback from Network of Network Higher Education LGBT+ event
I had a whirlwind, there-and-back-in-a day, trip to Milton Keynes for the Network of Network in Higher Education event on the 8th of October. It was brilliant to meet representatives from other HE institutions and learn how their LGBT+ networks operate and are recognised and supported (or not in many cases) by their institutions.
There were talks on trans inclusion in HE, centring around the experience of an academic from Oxford University, highlighting how traditions often result in inequality. We heard from the Birmingham network about their involvement in helping to support LGBT+ staff in the setting up of their Dubai campus, of particular relevance on that date given that it was International Lesbian Visibility Day. I think living in a country that largely has quite progressive attitudes (with much obvious progress still to make) towards LGBT+ identities many of us often forget that there are many parts of the world that are not safe for LGBT+ people.
The day culminated with the Manchester University LGBT+ network sharing how far they have come in the past 10 years, it was brilliant to see the evolution of their network over time. I was left inspired and emboldened that our network here in Edinburgh has much to contribute to the wider community of networks as well as a lot of expertise through our lived experiences that are hugely valuable to the university community.
Katie Nicoll Baines