Staff Pride Network [ONLINE] events: Body Clock Flow (Yoga)

Allison came to yoga and then Qi Kung (Chi Gong) after 3 decades as a nurse and midwife. She describes them as “something which keeps me sane(ish)!” She is motivated to provide accessible and inclusive practices to enhance wellbeing for all people and loves teaching and practicing them. You can read more about Allison on her website.

The Body Clock Flow is a sequence of Qi Kung movements and is a practice using the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine in an easy to learn form.

We hope you enjoy this introductory session and we hope to run more opportunities to practice Yoga and Qi Kung with Allison in future.


The first session is: Mon, 25 May 2020 13:00 – 14:00 BST

Please book via EventBrite


Allison Ewing’s Website

Queen Margaret University LGBT+ Staff Network

I joined QMU last year, but was disappointed that there was no LGBT+ Staff Network. I learned that the previous network fizzled out several years ago, but after speaking with colleagues, we decided to revive it.

Kitty Flynn Co-Chair QMU LGBT+ Staff Network

We have around 10 members, including one person who is not queer themselves, but is the parent of a queer person. We’ve only met once in person, but have been holding monthly lunchtime videocalls since March.

We’ve now got an email address- LGBTStaff@qmu.ac.uk, Twitter @QMULGBTStaff and an Instagram @QMULGBTStaff of which you are most welcome to follow/contact us through, though these are very bare-bones at the moment. We are working on getting a rainbow logo and webpage set up.

Looking forward to meeting you at some point in the future!


Kitty Flynn


QMU LGBT+ Staff Network

The Book of Queer Prophets

The Book of Queer Prophets, 24 short stories on sexuality and religion curated by former Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt, will be published on 28th May.

The publisher Harper Collins advertised on Twitter if anyone would like a proof copy and we were lucky to receive one.

SPN volunteer Gina Roberts (who submitted her PhD on 30th April!) wrote this insightful review: https://www.ginamaya.co.uk/books-music/the-book-of-queer-prophets-curated-by-ruth-hunt.html and if you’d like to borrow it, get in touch.

At previous events we partnered with Lighthouse Bookshop and they are doing deliveries, if you’re interested in buying a copy:


STEM Equals at the University of Strathclyde

Like our sister project Evidence Base, led by the University of Edinburgh, STEM Equals at the University of Strathclyde is one of eleven EPSRC funded projects under the Inclusion Matters initiative.

STEM Equals is a four-year research and impact project focused on creating more inclusive STEM communities for women and LGBT+ people in both academia and in industry.

Through an intersectional lens, the project examines working cultures within higher education and industry to understand specific challenges and to develop new initiatives to address systemic inequalities.

The project is funded by EPSRC with matched funding from the University of Strathclyde. The project industry partner is BAM Nuttall Ltd.


Read our latest newsletter Re/Act: Updates from the STEM Equals project.

Sign up to join us for our free event on 21st October LGBT in HE: Building networks, making change (spaces limited; registration required).

Stay tuned for soon-to-be-announced details for a special LGBT+ STEM Day event on 18th November.

LGBTQ+ Resources During COVID-19

Other Support Lists

Material Support


  • Edinburgh Trans Women have moved their monthly meeting for all trans women at whatever stage of their transition to Zoom. You can contact them if you would like to join at info@edinburghtranswomen.org.uk

Exercise Classes

Helplines and Support

Lesbian Visibility: What does being visible mean to you?

Pictured: Anna Smith, Staff Pride Network Bookclub Coordinator


What does being visible as a lesbian mean to you?


In lieu of any formal events to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week, one of our co-chairs and bi-rep, Katie, and our book group coordinator, Anna have had a virtual discussion (over email, fitting in between their busy work schedules!) about what it means to Anna to be visible as a lesbian.


Katie:    The big question: what does being visible as a lesbian mean to you?


Anna:    As a teenager coming to terms with my sexuality, I found the label ‘lesbian’ a useful one. It helped explain me, first and foremost to myself. Others had felt what I was feeling, had made sense of it and were out living their lives. My sexuality and gender presentation – things that marked me as different from my family and most of my friends at the time – also connected me into a wider community of people, existing in the past, present and future. Seeing lesbians in public life reinforced the idea that my identity was legitimate and not something to be ashamed of. As an adult I now try to be visible wherever appropriate, both to signal to lesbians who may be struggling to come out (either to themselves or others) that they’re not alone, and to signal to society in general that we’re a normal part of their world, too. I also hope that this visibility will help me to use my privilege as a relatively well-represented identity within the LGBTQ+ spectrum to be an ally to and advocate for others whose identities are not yet recognised or celebrated.


Katie:    Thank you so much for sharing that, I was wondering if you could expand on a few things for me? You refer to seeing lesbians in public life as important – was this generally or was it specific, perhaps well-known, figures that were helpful?


Anna:    When I was a teenager it was generally people in the arts such as the author Sarah Waters and the musicians Tegan and Sara Quinn who were particularly helpful to me. These women were open about their sexuality, successful in their fields and were creating work that featured characters and narratives that resonated with me. Lesbian pop-culture websites such as AfterEllen (and later Autostraddle) also helped me feel part of a cultural conversation on lesbian and LGBTQ+ issues at a time when I had very few people in my offline life who I felt I could discuss these things with.


Katie:   It just goes to show how important representation is. You also mentioned earlier that being a lesbian is a ‘well represented identity’ could you clarify this a little – do you mean, the average person may know that lesbians exist more so than other LGBT+ identities? Is this related to the fact there are now some quite famous lesbians in public life, politicians and celebrities etc…?


Anna:    Yes, I think ‘lesbian’ is an identity that the average non-LGBTQ+ person will have at least heard of and that many people will understand. For example, I would not expect to have to educate my colleagues, my boss or my GP on the basics of what being a lesbian means. I think this is partly down to the visibility of lesbians in public life, and in particular lesbians working on the creative side of the media in which we are depicted, for example lesbian film-makers, television writers etc. Other folks in the LGBTQ+ community don’t have that luxury because there are always more barriers in place for trans, pansexual or non-binary people (for example) trying to get a platform from which to tell their stories than for gay or lesbian people. Sadly, prejudice from the gay and lesbian communities towards more marginalised sexual and gender identities often contributes to this problem.


Katie: Do you have anything else to add?


Anna: Representation of lesbians has come a long way in recent years due to the work of activists both in and outside the public eye. However, there’s still some way to go, particularly in terms of increasing visibility for lesbians with other intersecting identities such as race, class and disability. I’m hopeful that in the future lesbians (and indeed any LGBTQ+ person), regardless of their situation or background, can see themselves accurately represented in society.



Lesbian Visibility: Shining a Light on Lesbian Authors

by Anna Smith, Coordinator of the Staff Pride Network Book Club


As part of Lesbian Visibility week I thought I would compile a list of books by lesbian authors, with lesbian characters, or both. This list is by no means exhaustive or representative of the objectively ‘most notable’ works around; it’s simply a collection of authors whose work I get excited about. A note of caution – often an author’s work may feature queer women but there is no record of the author’s sexuality, which is fair enough because that’s absolutely their business, but I’m hesitant to apply a label of ‘lesbian’ to these works given how often bisexual and otherwise queer-identified women are erased in LGBTQ spaces and dialogues. I’ve tried to stick to works where either there’s some public record that the author self-identifies as a lesbian, and/or the character in the work only has relationships with female-identified people. Please accept my apologies for (and let me know about) any errors! Furthermore, while I’ve attempted to make the list as diverse as possible I recognise that as a cis, white woman my reading (and therefore my recommendations) will probably have a cis- and white-centric bias, and I would encourage readers to seek out works by and featuring lesbians from the trans, BME, disabled and neurodiverse communities.


Lesbian authors whose work I am familiar with:

Becky Chambers

Chambers’ science fiction series, which starts with The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, imagines a far-future society in which humans have left Earth, met up with aliens, and are now trying to make their way in intergalactic society. Chambers’ novels often feature multiple queer characters and put questions of friendship, identity and cross-cultural co-operation and understanding front and centre. Plus, y’know, spaceships! What more do you want!?

Emma Donoghue

Most famous for the contemporary novel Room, Donoghue has written many novels set in different time periods. I am a particular fan of Life Mask, a work of historical fiction which follows the life of sculptor Anne Damer in the Georgian period. It focuses on Damer’s life burgeoning friendship with – and feelings for – a well-known actress of the time. Donoghue has also written lesbian characters in her short story collections Astray and Touchy Subjects. 


Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay is a Scottish poet, playwright and novelist who I was first introduced to when I read her memoir Red Dust Road, which interweaves reflections on her experiences of being adopted by a white family with the story of how she sought and met with her biological parents as an adult. Red Dust Road is a powerful exploration of identity and the concept of belonging.


Carmen Maria Machado

I read Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection Her Body and Other Parties on the recommendation of a friend and was absolutely blown away. Often featuring lesbian or queer women, the stories have a way of drilling right down to the bones (sometimes literally, given the often horror-inflected nature of the narratives) of their chosen themes. Despite all being set in worlds which are recognisably present or near-future, there’s a broad spectrum here in terms of the degree to which the fantastical is allowed to manifest, and Machado wields the tools of magical realism with precision and wit.


Tamsyn Muir

I first heard about Muir at Worldcon last year, and have gleefully devoured her short stories Union and The Deepwater Bride, which are wonderfully creepy works of science fiction featuring lesbian characters. Her debut novel Gideon the Ninth has been described by the author as “just a collection of swordfights and people leaning in doorways” but by many other people as a thrilling adventure featuring lesbian necromancers in space. IN SPACE! I am, alas, waiting for it to come out in paperback so haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading it.


Sarah Waters

Queen of lesbian historical fiction, has written several novels with lesbian protagonists. I’d personally recommend Fingersmith as a starting point, a gothic romance set in Victorian England, in which a thief plots to con a reclusive heiress out of her inheritance by posing as a ladies’ maid. Waters’ other works include Tipping the Velvet, Night Watch and The Paying Guests.


Jeanette Winterson

I think most people probably know who Jeanette Winterson is, right? She’s best known for Oranges are Nor the Only Fruit, a novel based on her own childhood and adolescence coming to terms with her sexuality as an adopted child of very religious parents. She’s incredibly prolific and everyone who reads her work probably has their own favourites, but I love The Passion, a fantastical story following two protagonists (one a queer woman) across France and Italy during the Napoleonic wars.


Interesting-sounding books with lesbian authors or characters which I haven’t read:

The Labyrinth’s Archivist by Day Al-Mohamed

A Two-Spirit Journey (non-fiction) by Ma-Nee Chacaby

The Confessions of Frannie Langton  by Sara Collins

A Safe Girl to Love (short story collection) by Casey Plett

The Seep by Chana Porter

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me (graphic novel) by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Shout out to the Lesbrary and Tor Publishing’s Queering SF series are other good sources for recommendations.


LGBT+ Network of Networks in Higher Education’s Networks Got Talent Showcase: Derek’s Entry

The LGBT+ Network of Networks in Higher Education (@LGBTNoNHE) have an initiative to showcase the talents and skills of members, and to bring joy to LGBT+ communities during the current testing time. LGBT+ individuals are more likely to live alone or may not situate in an inclusive domestic environment. #NetworksGotTalent

Enjoy the talents of Staff Pride Network Meeting Secretary Derek Williams and his improvisation on piano of The Village People’s YMCA and Macho Man. Check out his own Derek Williams YouTube channel for much more. We hope this brings a smile to your face while we all do our best in isolation and socially distancing.


Staff Pride Network [ONLINE] events: Virtual Socials

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 (Jitsi) as it does not require a login, is browser-based (Chrome recommended) and is open-source.

Join the meeting: https://meet.jit.si/StaffPrideNetworkSocial


Mobile apps are available (Room Name: StaffPrideNetworkSocial):

iPhone App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jitsi-meet/id1165103905

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.jitsi.meet


Those without internet/smartphone/laptop can join by phone instead (standard charges apply), tap this: +44.121.468.3154,,507231970#


Please open the chat from the bottom left and you can add a nickname so people know who you are if not using a camera.

Note: Audio settings are found in the bottom right (three dots icon) under settings to check you have the right mic and speaker setup.


Jitsi FAQ

Register of Expertise

The Staff Pride Network is creating a subject specialist database bringing together scholars – PhD
students, early career researchers, and established academics – working on LGBTQIA+ topics,
reflecting the combined strength of the University of Edinburgh expertise in the field.

What is the Register of Expertise?

The register of expertise will be a database of scholars engaged with LGBTQIA+ research. The
register will aim to enable knowledge exchange and facilitate contact between those with common
interests or areas of research. The database would be comprehensive in terms of disciplines and
research approaches.

The aim of the database is to contribute to the sharing of research and ideas across the university
and beyond. This could be supported through a variety of both on and offline spaces. The base for
this will be an online register of expertise in LGBTQIA+ research. Possibilities for development could
be a regular feature in the Staff Pride Network Blog (‘LGBTQIA+ research in focus’), a ‘Staff Pride
Network Seminar Series’ to disseminate completed research and work in progress.
The information to provide will be: contact details, areas of interest, research (relevant books,
publications, projects, other outputs), and a summary of current work.

How to join?

If you are a scholar working on any aspect of LGBTQIA+ research and are interested in joining the
‘Register of Expertise’, please let us know by emailing our Research Officer – Edgar Rodriguez-Dorans
at edgar.rodriguez-dorans@ed.ac.uk