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Thank you from QMOut

We at QMOut are proud to support the LGBT ally initiative at QMUL. LGBT people can experience difficulty and discrimination in all parts of their lives with issues such as biphobia, transphobia, hate crime and health and education discrimination. QMOut recognises the importance of allies in reducing discrimination, creating a better working environment and supporting the wellbeing of LGBT staff and students. The following information details what it means to be an ally and how you can get involved with being an ally at QMUL. We hope you find it useful and informative and it helps you find new ways to amplify the voices of LGBT people in our institution. Enjoy and get involved!

Dr Helen Bintley & Dr Fadi Safieddine (QMOut Co-Chairs)

What is an ally and why is it important?

Being an ally is about being an active friend or support to someone else. Straight people can be allies to LGBT people. LGBT people can be allies to each other. An ally someone who supports and champions LGBT people and rights, and they also help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect, as well as challenging homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Allies are an important part of helping to create a safe and welcoming culture for everyone to be able to bring their entire selves to work. An ally is someone who believes that LGBT people should experience full equality in the workplace. We at Queen Mary want everyone to be able to achieve and work in the best possible environment for them.

Facts and Figures

Being an LGBT student at University

  • Two in five LGBT students (42%) have hidden their identity at university for fear of discrimination.
  • 7% of trans students have been physically attacked by another student or member of university staff in the last year.
  • Two-thirds of LGBT students (69%) say university has equalities policies that protect LGB people on campus.

Being LGBT in the Workplace

  • More than a third of LGBT staff (35%) have hidden that they are LGBT at work for fear of discrimination.
  • One in ten black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT employees (10%) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year.
  • Nearly two in five bi people (38%) aren’t out to anyone at work.

Figures taken from Stonewall's LGBT in Britain: 2018 Workplace Report and LGBT in Britain: 2018 University Report based on YouGov research.

What can you do?


  • Listen to the experiences of LGBT people – their experiences of discrimination will be different to your own
  • Intersectionality – there are many different, intersecting elements to identity and individual experiences will be very different
  • To learn more about the experiences of LGBT people of colour, Stonewall have produced a series of videos that aim to amplify the voices of BAME LGBT people

Educate yourself

  • Do you know about the different identities in the LGBT community?
  • Learn about the challenges LGBT people face
  • Do you know your own biases?
  • Learn current terminology (remember it changes over time) and stay informed - Stonewall has an up to date glossary of terms

Challenge discrimination

  • When you hear people making negative comments or using hurtful or abusive language towards LGBT people, challenge it
  • If it’s online, report it

Amplify LGBT voices

  • Champion role models
  • Support networks: publicise, share or sponsor

Think before you assume

  • Don’t make assumptions about the relationships people are in
  • If you are unsure, use gender neutral pronouns, or ask
  • It’s OK if you get language wrong at first, simply apologise, move on and think about what you would do differently next time
  • Don’t out anyone without their permission

Be visible in your support

 Accept you may not always get it right!


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