Inclusive language setting in Outlook

We would like to share this wonderful diversity tip regarding an inclusive language setting in Outlook.

The setting in Outlook means you can enable checks for inclusive language when spell check runs for your emails.

Here is how to enable it:

In a new email, go to ‘Review’, then select ‘Spelling & Grammar’ (you might have to misspell a word in the body of your email to get the pop-up)

In a new email, go to ‘Review’, then select ‘Spelling & Grammar’ (you might have to misspell a word in the body of your email to get the pop-up)

Select ‘Options…’ in the pop-up window

Examples of the change

Select ‘Proofing’ from the left side menu, then enable ‘Mark grammar errors as you type’, then select ‘Settings…’ beside Writing Style

Spellcheck will now run for inclusive language, see examples below…

Under Inclusive Language (scroll almost to the bottom of the list), enable ‘Gender-Specific Language’, then select ‘OK’

Under Inclusive Language (scroll almost to the bottom of the list), enable ‘Gender-Specific Language’, then select ‘OK’

Spellcheck will now run for inclusive language, see examples below…

Select ‘Proofing’ from the left side menu, then enable ‘Mark grammar errors as you type’, then select ‘Settings…’ beside Writing Style

Examples of the change:

Select ‘Options…’ in the pop-up window

In response to ‘Sex Matters’ letter

Dear Network Members, 

You may have become aware of a letter by a collective of academics operating under the name ‘Sex Matters’ written to the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission demanding a “Reindorf Review” for the higher education sector. While we are once again loath to draw attention to these beliefs, we also recognise that silence does not make our position clear to those in our community most affected by these beliefs and the ways in which these beliefs are expressed. This statement is to reinforce our solidarity to those affected and that we will continue to work in ways which support our trans and non-binary colleagues and students. 

This letter paints a very biased view of the current situation regarding academic freedom in UK Higher Education institutions and depicts those academics who share ‘gender critical’ beliefs as victims of ‘trans rights activists’. There is no reflection on why students and staff might feel motivated to protest those academics actively promoting their ‘gender critical’ beliefs and a failure to acknowledge the harms experienced by the trans and non-binary members of these communities as a consequence of discriminatory expressions of these beliefs. For clarity, the Staff Pride Network committee would like to make it known that we do not endorse this viewpoint of the situation. It is clear to us how harmful ‘gender critical’ beliefs are to the trans and non-binary members of our community, and that reductive, biologically essentialist attitudes towards sex are also damaging to everyone. No-one thrives if they are forced to adopt an identity based on binary sex characteristics, while trans and non-binary members of our community are especially and significantly harmed by this.  

The letter claims that the Stonewall Diversity Champions Scheme promotes misleading information about the Equality Act which is simply false. It also criticises Athena SWAN for encouraging HEIs to monitor gender and not sex. We support the monitoring of gender and of gender diversity in our institutions because it is far more realistic to learn about how our staff live their lives and how they move through the world as their lived gender identities rather than forcing staff to select a binary sex characteristic that may be wholly inaccurate and may force trans and non-binary members of staff to disclose sensitive private information about their gender history.  

We make no disagreement with the notion that a distinction can be made between sex and gender. Biological sex is a complex combination of anatomy, hormones and chromosomes that can result in a variety of sex characteristics in the human population. Gender is also a complex combination of the ways in which we experience and present our identities in a multi-gendered world. We reject the characterisation in the letter that there are UK Universities that impose a ‘radical gender orthodoxy’. This appears to be an attempt to stigmatise those who do not conform to an antiquated belief system that promotes a binary understanding of sex. We also recognise that sex is a protected characteristic. The guidance around the Equality Act as to how sex is determined is broad, it does not provide a precise definition of sex and it does not specify that sex is rooted in ‘biological sex’. 

We are concerned to note the names of 28 current and former University of Edinburgh staff as signatories of this letter, many of whom have a significant platform (through lectures, publications and other opportunities) to share ‘gender critical’ beliefs. While we recognise the freedom of those individuals to hold and express these beliefs, they should recognise that exercising freedom does have implications for other people, and that just as they are free to hold and express their beliefs, others are free to counter-argue or take other lawful action (such as protesting) in response. In particular, however, it is right to recognise that no one is free to express their beliefs, or their disagreement with others’ beliefs, in ways that are abusive or discriminatory. Members of our network have been deeply disturbed by this letter, as well as members of the student community. We extend our solidarity to those affected and will continue to work in ways which support our trans and non-binary colleagues and students.  

We hope that one day all staff and students are able to go about their lives feeling safe, respected and without harassment. 


The Staff Pride Network Committee

Adding Pronouns in the University Systems

Please note this workaround no longer works we are currently trying to find a solution.

Adding Pronouns to all University Systems

The quickest and easiest way is to add to ‘Preferred Name’ on either MyEd (for students) or People & Money for PhD students and staff:

People & Money


Personal Information > Personel Details 

People and Money Personal Details adding Pronouns






The university zoom accounts profiles support pronouns however don’t use it with the ‘Preferred Name’ change above unless you want it twice.


Click edit on the right of your name:

Zoom profile adding pronouns





















SPN Book Group

The SPN Book Group is one of the lesser known SPN regular events. It is a casual book group run by the SPN (currently led by Zahra Massoud, SPN BAME Rep), and is open to all staff and PhD students at the University of Edinburgh who are LGBTQ+ or allies. We meet from 5:45pm – 7pm on the third Thursday of each month during the academic year, and have recently expanded to also run through the summer months. Ordinarily, we would meet in a pub or café to chat about the month’s book, although in the past year we’ve transitioned to online meetings.

The books we read are selected at random from member’s suggestions. We have no restrictions on the length, genre, style or format of the book – in the past we’ve read novels, poetry, short stories, and even self-help books. Any book is fair game, though of course books with LGBTQIA+ characters or themes are always welcome! By not limiting ourselves to particular categories and genres, we have had lively discussions about books we’ve loved, books we’ve hated, and books we never would have picked up of our own accord!

For our last meeting, we read The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This heart-warming verse novel tells the coming-of-age story of Michael, a young, gay, mixed-race boy, as he explores the different facets of his identity. Our discussion centred on our understanding of his experiences, in relation to our own and to other forms of LGBTQ+-focused media, as well as on the format of the book as a verse novel interspersed with stand-alone poems. At this meeting, we also selected our books for the summer months. Members suggested as many books as they like, which were added to a list from which 3 were selected using a random number generator (in person, we’d pull names from a hat!). The full list is available on our SharePoint site, and members will be encouraged to submit titles for another selection in September.

To ensure accessibility, we encourage anyone who’s interested to attend meetings, regardless of how much (or little) of the book you’ve read. You’re also welcome to join just for a coffee and chat about books if you’ve not read the book at all. However, we do have a policy of not being a spoiler-free zone, to allow anyone who has finished the book to share their full thoughts. We also share content warnings for each book on our SPN Book Group SharePoint site, for anyone who would prefer to check these before reading or attending meetings.

Our next meeting will be held on July 15th, from 5:45pm – 7pm, to discuss Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Due to relaxing COVID-19 government restrictions, we now have the option to meet in person again. However, to ensure the comfort and safety of members, we currently select our preferences of whether to meet in person or online using a private poll around 1 week before the meeting, and venue is chosen by majority vote.

To join the SPN Book Group, and access the SharePoint with further information on venues, reading lists and content warnings, please email Zahra (she/her) at zahra.massoud@ed.ac.uk.

First Steps to Trans Inclusion; Stonewall Workshop 29/6/21

by Tracy Noden (she/her)

Tracy is an LGBTQ+ Advocate at the School of Law, SPN Events Team volunteer and staunch ally to LGBTQ+ people. She regularly attends SPN events and training and we are very grateful for her significant contribution to the Staff Pride Network.

This opened with two excellent speakers (Dr Kamilla Kamaruddin and Mia Weston).  There are so many challenges and negative stats, but both are hopeful for the upcoming, more inclusive, woke generation.  The sky is the limit for ally support, but at the very least speak up when trans people need support.  It’s vital to protect trans kids in schools.  The only two situations in which to ask for a trans person’s surgical status are medical and dating situations, and even then sensitivity is required.


Terminology exercise:


Trans is the term for everyone under that umbrella; there was much argument about using transsexual/transgender in the 90s, but the trans community has accepted trans as correct.


Not all trans people experience gender dysphoria, and those who experience it don’t necessarily experience it in the same way.


Cis is used because it’s the Latin prefix opposite to trans.  Referring to someone as non-trans rather than cis is also ok.


Understanding Identities:


Be more conscious of all the possible aspects of a person’s identity, and don’t assume ANYTHING based on any one of their aspects.


Provide a bin in men’s loo cubicles for the sake of trans males or nonbinary people who menstruate.


Consider any questions you might ask a trans person very carefully; why do you want to know, and is this the right situation in which to ask?


Trans experiences:


Trans bladder is a medical term that refers to bladder/urinary tract issues being more common among the trans community, possibly stemming from issues of trans people not feeling comfortable using a gendered public toilet.


Creating an Inclusive Environment:


There are so many benefits of enabling trans/nonbinary people to express themselves naturally.  There are so many potentially harmful effects for trans/nonbinary people who can’t express themselves freely.


The Equality Act 2010 requires workplaces to be inclusive.


Allies should disclose their pronouns at meetings and in signatures to encourage others to do so and help normalise this.


If you make a mistake, apologise, correct yourself and move on.  Listen first, ask if in doubt and always respect the individual’s choice.


Correct colleagues if needed (even if the trans person isn’t there), and show trans colleagues that their identity is being taken seriously.


Communicate to all staff that all gender expressions are welcome and valid.


Don’t comment on whether you feel a trans person could be more “convincing” or that they are “convincing”.  This is totally inappropriate!


Provide non-gendered toilets.


Recognise that non-gendered facilities allow everyone to access a safe space.


Communicate to staff that anyone can choose which facilities align with their gender identity and they can use them without fear of harassment or intimidation.  Understand the use and limits (eg not every trans person wants this) of gender-neutral facilities.


An accessible toilet is NOT a substitute for a non-gendered toilet.


Stonewall’s toilets are all non-gender, and every stall is fully private (each cubicle’s walls go all the way from the floor to the ceiling) and some have sinks/mirrors.


It’s great to have men’s, women’s and non-gendered toilets.


Create and highlight HR policies and employee support protocols.  These policies add to the support all staff might need rather than taking away existing protections.


Make opportunities and support available to trans people, and encourage trans colleagues to consider themselves for new opportunities.


Think about how your actions at work contribute to making sure that trans colleagues are represented and included.  Small things can make a big difference.


Being an Ally:


Be visible, and help create an inclusive workplace.


Don’t even passively accept transphobia and other bigotry.


Be visible, actively lead, be a role model (eg using correct pronouns even if others don’t).


Recommended Media (in bold and underlined if especially recommended):


Netflix:  Disclosure, Sense8, Pose, Tales of the City, Drag Race UK, Dragnificent


Other TV:  Veneno, Transparent, Euphoria


Films:  Paris is Burning, No Ordinary Man:  The Billy Tipton Story, Keyboard Fantasies, By Hook or by Crook, A Fantastic Woman, Something Must Break


Comedy/Performers:  Mae Martin, FOCitup, Travis Alabanza


Podcasts:  One from the Vault, Bad Gay, What the Trans?!, Translash, Marsha’s Plate


Activists:  Fox and Owl Fisher, Juno Dawson, Munroe Bergdorf, Kuchenga, Liv Little / GalDem, Lady Phyll, Kenny Ethan Jones


Books:  The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye, Transgender History by Susan Stryker, Lote by Shola von Reinhold and Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Stonewall Empowerment Training

by David Radford

I attended the second part of the empowerment training course run by Stonewall on the 25th February. I was quite pleasantly surprised to see such a wide variety of attendees – everything from the academic sector to government departments and the banking sector.

It was notable that they reported within the workplace the LGBT community is not evenly treated, with 83% of lesbian and gay respondents of a survey stating that they felt their workplace was inclusive of them, while this number dropped to 52% for bi and only 48% of trans respondents. One thing which I was aware of but maybe not as actively aware of as I could be was discrimination and bias from within the LGBT+ community towards smaller or less visible groups.

The main aim of the workshop was to help identify the potential shortcomings and problems which arise from making network spaces for LGBT+ members of staff, which can create issues with cliques and exclusion, difficulties breaking into the group and issues of tokenism, and really highlighted the importance of diverse representation in the leadership and decision-making of groups as well as being open to criticism, willing to make changes and above all welcoming to newcomers.

For me, at least the main take-home message of this was to be aware of who I am interacting with and not to make assumptions when planning activities, as well as trying to engage others in decision making. That pub trip or countryside walk might be good for the morale of those attending, but it can cause other issues including financial, religious, family or accessibility problems, which can exclude a whole host of other people from attending.

Rainbow Office Hours

Now, more than ever, we need to talk. So the Staff pride Network has set up Rainbow Office Hours. A chance to make a connection with another LGBTQ+ staff member, or PG student, at the University.

Each month*, the last Friday of the month at 12-1pm, a few of our members will be standing by – check our website for details of who is available. Pick out someone you’d like to talk to, and drop them a line in Teams to check they’re not with someone else (i.e. a digital knock on the door!). After that, you two are free to chat about anything and everything. You might have specific things you want to talk about, or it might just be the pleasure of spending some time with someone like you.

We’re not a counselling or support service, but we do believe in the power of community – so why not take a moment to make that connection and feel just a wee bit better.

  • Sue Fletcher-Watson (she/her): My name is Sue. I’m a cis woman and I’m bisexual. I’ve been married for 15 years to a cis man and we have two kids – everyone assumes we’re a heterosexual couple. I am happy to chat about the experience of being bi (or pansexual) generally and specifically about bi-visibility and bi-phobia.
  • Karen Pinto-Csaszar (she/her): I’m Karen and I’m a Student Support Officer at Edinburgh College of Art. I am a cisgender straight woman who is part of the ‘BAME’ community (Latin-American) and am interested in chatting with staff and students of any orientation about (among many things) the contribution allies might make in supporting and learning from the LGBT+ community, including and perhaps especially potential allies who may feel interested but hesitant to get involved. I’m also interested in chatting about matters of the BAME community at large, including being a BAME expat!
  • Robert (Robbie) Court (he/him): I’m a PostDoc in the School of Informatics specialising in insect neurobiology. Label wise I am Gay, Autistic, Humanist, Dyslexic, Prosopagnosic and have ADHD. I’ve been with my ‘husband’ (not got round to the now available paperwork – one day) for over 25years, he came with a son who is nearly 30 now. Danielle Marlow (she/her): I’m Danielle and I’ve worked at the University for nearly 10 years. I’m a cisgender straight woman married to a cis straight man, and we have 2 children. I’m happy to chat about anything: thoughts you might have; questions you’d like me to try and answer; as well as contributions you can make to our community as an Ally.
  • Katherine Malin-August (she/her): I’m Katherine and I’m the Finance Manager for the School of Biological Sciences. I joined this university during lockdown. I’m a cis queer woman, with a non-binary partner. I’m a Trustee and Treasurer for an LGBT+ Youth Charity back in Manchester where I’m from. I’m happy to talk about the experience of being cis and supporting a trans* partner, and trying to use my cis privilege to take on some of the work on behalf of the trans* people in our lives. I could also talk about the Governance aspect of running an LGBT+ youth charity, if that interests you.
  • Winnie Lam (she/they): I am Winnie, a bi cisgender woman of colour (British born Chinese), in a relationship with a cisgender bi woman. Happy to talk about biphobia, bi-erasure, racism inside and outside of the LGBT+ community, and any other issues you feel my experience can help with.

If you would like to volunteer for Rainbow Office Hours, please complete this Microsoft Form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=sAafLmkWiUWHiRCgaTTcYZ1S77tmEnpInfF1a_fSWi9UOVZIUkszVTFWU0E2WTVON1EyOFcxMk84WSQlQCN0PWcu

Fill | Rainbow Office Hours Volunteer Form

This is a form to collect information from people who are willing to host “Rainbow Office Hours” at the University of Edinburgh in November 2020. The purpose is to allow LGBTQ+ PhD students and staff to drop in for informal chats and peer support. Rainbow Office Hours take place the last Friday of the month, every month, from 12-1pm. It’s best if you can commit to a block of 3 or 4 months in a row, but please do sign up even if you’re not certain you’ll always be available. Please complete this form if you can make yourself available online, and are happy to chat informally to people about your experiences and support them with theirs. NB: this is not a service to replace formal mental health or counselling support but is simply a chance for folk to make a connection with someone who might have had a similar experience to them, and share those stories.



  • our first Rainbow Office Hours of 2021 will be on January 29th 2021.

Staff Pride Network Newsletter – Feb 2021

Staff Pride Network Newsletter – Feb 2021
View this email in your browser

Welcome to the Feb 2021 edition of the
Staff Pride Network newsletter

Dear Members,

Welcome to our 10th newsletter and as LGBT+ History Month is upon us the Staff Pride Network team have put together another series of fascinating events on a range of topics, further details available on our EventBrite as well as listed below.

In other news, we have created a Deputy Co-Chair role to aid future transitions and provide learning opportunities. We are grateful to Ally Rep Danielle Marlow for taking on that challenge! You may have noticed the Philadelphia flag version of our logo above – February is Black History Month in the US. Also, we are still looking for volunteers for the Disability Rep and BAME Rep positions so if you might be interested, do get in touch.

We are delighted that schools and departments throughout the University have chosen to organise more events and have liaised with us to ensure communications are appropriate. Watch out for social media from UoE Sport & Exercise and an HCA event on 9th Feb https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lgbt-history-month-dr-molly-merryman-queer-voices-from-the-pandemic-tickets-133064687061 .

We’ll share more events from fellow HE networks on our social media so if you’re not already following us, we’re @uoestaffpride on TwitterFacebook and Insta.

The rest of the newsletter will highlight some of the fabulous virtual events we have been running with the opportunity to catch any you missed on our YouTube channel.

Happy LGBT+ History Month!  We hope you can join us for one of our events.

Best wishes,

Jonathan (he/him) & Katie (she/her)
Co-Chairs, Staff Pride Network for LGBT+ colleagues & allies

Rainbow Background Images

We are delighted to present new backgrounds for video conferencing or slides which are available on the University website. Thanks to Mark Pace we also have a few PowerPoint master themes available for download using these. Click Here for Full Details and Downloads 

Virtual Socials

We are continuing our weekly Wednesday lunchtime coffee meetup 1-2 pm as well as, on the first Friday of each month, our evening social event (BYOB) 6:30 pm – late. Find out more…

SPN launched its Research Seminar Series

Heavier than Air 

Premiere and discussion

Heavier than Air helps to educate non-LGBTQIA+ audiences, along with education administrators, students, and staff about the experiences of social inclusion and mental health needs of LGBTQIA+ people, providing LGBTQIA+ teachers with an opportunity to see their sometimes welcoming, sometimes violently exclusionary experiences at their workplace depicted on film. The film was followed by a discussion on how qualitative research and performing arts converge to rethink research methodologies and research communication in humanities and social sciences.  More Details… (+video)


Imagined Futures of Older Same Sex Couples in Scotland

The research looked at how people talk about their past and present, and how their experiences were reflected in the imagination of their future. Based on interviews with 7 older same-sex couples living in Scotland, the talk presented some of the key results, which show that the couples who participated in this research imagine their future in a very similar and specific way. The talk also explored two ways of imagining the future, the short- and long-term one, and how these differ in terms of the concerns and hopes reflected in each. Through the stories presented in this talk and in Dr Jandrić’s doctoral research, she hopes to raise awareness of the experiences these couples went through and what these experiences mean for their present and future lives.
More Details… (+video)

University Buildings Illuminated Red for WAD2020

World AIDS Day 2020

In recognition of World Aid’s Day 2020 and this year’s theme of “Resilience”, the University of Edinburgh Staff Pride Network hosted a panel event to address the question: How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Scotland and around the world? and share insights as to how communities and health systems have demonstrated resilience and sought to strengthen HIV prevention services in the context of a global pandemic.

Our Panel members were:

  • Robert Pollock from Waverley Care
  • Socorro García – Casa de la Sal (Mexico)
  • Germán Martínez Blanco – AHF Mexico
  • Rocío Sánchez Granillo – preVIHene (Mexico)
  • Fraser Serle – HIV Scotland volunteer

Transgender Gaze, Neoliberal Haze

Representations of trans women in the Americas through the prism of neoliberal society

a seminar with Gina Gwenffrewi
My PhD thesis deals with the impact of the Americas on our conception in Scotland and the UK regarding trans identity, specifically trans female identity. This is partly the intellectual and activist legacies from mainly North America since the 1990s, but also the terrible rate of violence suffered by trans women in Latin America and African American communities in the North. I’m interested in the narratives that we encounter in the arts and the media, including which narratives get seen by us, and which do not. My work deals with the power structures that decide, within our current neoliberal culture, what is the right kind of trans narrative and which is not. More Details… (+video)
Now, more than ever, we need to talk. So the Staff pride Network has set up Rainbow Office Hours. A chance to make a connection with another LGBTQ+ staff member, or PG student, at the University. Each month*, the last Friday of the month at 12-1pm, a few of our members will be standing by – check our website for details of who is available. Pick out someone you’d like to talk to, and drop them a line in Teams

Bi Visibility Day 2020: Solidarity Across The Distance

Co-hosted by the University of Edinburgh Staff Pride Network and OurStory Scotland.

We marked Bi Visibility Day on Wednesday 23 September 2020 with an online event where members of the Staff Pride Network and the Pridesoc student network, as well as LGBT+ community members and allies, learned more about the Bi+ experience through shared stories. More Details… (+video)

On Trans Day of Remembrance, we again joined with the students and the EUSA Liberation Trans and Non-Binary Campaign to remember the lives lost to transphobia this year, and to celebrate our community. There was a selection of short speeches & readings, plus some information for allies on how you can show solidarity with our trans siblings. Afterwards, we joined the national event where the Glasgow Mission, Order of Perpetual Indulgence created a safe space of remembrance and celebration of the lives lived as well as lost. They honoured those past in spoken word, poems and music. Read More…

LGBT Magazine Archive

The Library now has access to the LGBT Magazine Archive from ProQuest until 31st December 2021. This primary source database is a searchable archive of major periodicals devoted to LGBT+ interests, dating from the 1950s through to recent years.

For Full Details…


LGBT+ History Month Events 2021

It’s that time again when we commemorate and celebrate LGBT+ history. Once again the Staff Pride Network team have put together another series of fascinating events on a range of topics, further details available on our EventBrite.


We are delighted that Schools and departments throughout the University have chosen to organise more events and have liaised with us to ensure communications are appropriate. Watch out for social media from UoE Sport & Exercise and an HCA event on 9th Feb https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lgbt-history-month-dr-molly-merryman-queer-voices-from-the-pandemic-tickets-133064687061 .

We’ll share more events from fellow HE networks on our social media so if you’re not already following us, we’re @uoestaffpride on Twitter, Facebook and Insta.

Happy LGBT+ History Month!  We hope you can join us for one of our events.

Jonathan and Katie

The SPN online social has moved to Zoom

This is a regular weekly Wednesday lunchtime coffee meetup 1-2pm & once a month (on the first Friday of the month) our evening social event (BYOB) 6:30pm-late.


Please drop in with a coffee and meet your LGBT+ colleagues and ask a committee member those questions you’ve been dying to have answered!

This event is open to all LGBT+/ally staff (or PhD students) of the University of Edinburgh.

More generally we have a broad range of people attending of all ages, disabilities and social abilities so please feel welcome to join us.

If you are nervous at all and would like to meet up with one of us first then please get in contact via our social media outlets or via email: staffpridenetwork@ed.ac.uk


For the duration of ‘the event’ we shall be meeting online via a video chat service (finally given into Zoom):

The Staff Pride Network is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: SPN Social
Time: This is a recurring meeting every Wednesday 1-2pm and 6:30pm-late on the First Friday of each month.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 833 6838 1329
Passcode: SPNsocial1

Join by Skype for Business