Working in Higher Education is certainly a rewarding experience. With the hashtag #lgbtqinclusivity, the first day of our conference, Facing the Dragon, has certainly offered an amazing diversity of insights. Our keynote speaker, Professor Cara Aicheson, Vice-Chanceller of Cardiff Metropolitan University, inspired everyone discussing the real difference leadership can make when aligned with values. We enjoyed research, reflections and opinion, not to mention valuable insight, on a range of topics around gender, sexuality and identity, and explored this from the perspectives of students and staff. We were lucky enough to have Mark Smith from Sydney University giving us the international perspective, and critical insights came from Scottish colleagues exemplifying the joined-up working of Scottish Universities.
There have been many, deep and wonderful conversations, and all members of the organising team from Swansea, South Wales and Cardiff Universities have been overwhelmed by the expertise shared so far. We are already building a picture of good practice and inspirational ideas to drive our equality work forward. With a mixture of workshops and presentations, followed by an intimate dinner and entertainment by local singer/songwriter Bronwen Lewis.
I can only look forward to another packed and interesting day today, and express my appreciation of the speakers and the value of their contributions. So much for us to learn about and think about, and so many ideas for how we can continue to push the equality and inclusivity agenda forward.
Onwards we go for day 2!

September 6th, 2017

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Dear All
The conference is tomorrow! I am so excited to meet everyone and we have a packed and really amazing programme of events.
Programmes will be distributed on the day, but in the meantime, here is how the days are looking….

Please remember, we are on the Bay Campus. Here is a link to the campus map

https://www.swansea.ac.uk/media/bay-campus-plan.pdf

 

Please come to the School of Management and follow the signs for the conference.

 

With very best wishes from the LGBT+ Network and the Representatives from Cardiff University and University of South Wales.

Programme Day 1 – 5 September 2017
9:00 am – 10.30 am Registration and refreshments
10.30 am – 11:00 am Welcome to the conference – THE ORGANISING COMMITTEE
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
CHAIR – Prof Martin Stringer Keynote address: Professor Cara Aitchison, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff Metropolitan University
From ‘marking difference’ to ‘making a difference’: the social-cultural nexus of power and personal responsibility in the leadership of higher education.
12:00 pm – 12.15 pm Comfort Break
12.15 pm – 1.15 pm
(1st Concurrent)

CHAIR- ALYS EINION Papers: Staff and student experience

(Non-) performative allyship: when LGBT-friendly images of HE institutions backfire
Pippa Sterk, Goldsmiths

Interactive collaborative virtual learning space exploring inclusive practice
Mandy Jack, Swansea University

Hate Crime Reporting Centre
Robin Benson, Swansea University
Workshop

Fanzines: making media, doing activism
Cath Elms, Swansea University Workshop

Decolonising ‘inclusivity’: mapping reciprocity through a social cartographical lens
Cath Camps & CA Emmett, Cardiff University and USW
1.15 pm – 2.30 pm Lunch Break
2.30 pm – 3.30 pm
(2nd Concurrent)

CHAIR – CATH CAMPS Papers: cultural barriers and mental health

Bisexual erasure and biphobia in Wales
Carlotta Lami, Swansea University

LGBTQ students and mental health
Georgina Gnan, King’s College

Gender, women and the ‘F’ word – addressing gender inequalities awareness in professional and social science education.
Alys Einion, Swansea University.
Workshop

An employability mentoring scheme for LGBTQ students at the University of Birmingham
Sean Russell, Get Out Stay Out
Workshop

How can my teaching be more LGBTQ inclusive? Reflecting on professional practice and power in higher education
Nicola Gale & Nicki Ward, University of Birmingham
3.15 pm – 4 pm Afternoon Coffee Break

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
(3rd Concurrent)

CHAIR – Prof Martin Stringer Papers: campus climate

Turning the sandstone into a rainbow: implementing an inclusive culture in a 170 year old institution
Jennifer Barrett & Mark Smith, University of Sydney

Proudly Proactive: celebrating and supporting LGBTQ+ students in higher education in Scotland
Hazel Marzetti, University of Edinburgh

Trans inclusion: exploring the experiences of trans and gender diverse students and staff in HE
Stephanie McKendry, University of Strathclyde Workshop

This is your trans* life: trans inclusivity in medical education
Evan Wilkins, Cardiff University Workshop

Bisexuality issues in higher education
Rosie Nelson, University of Bristol
5:00 pm CLOSE DAY 1
Conference Dinner at the Swansea Marriott Hotel. Schedule:
● Arrival and Drinks reception at 6:30pm;
● Seating at 7:15pm;
● First course served at 7:30pm.

Dinner entertainment: music by Welsh singer/songwriter Bronwen Lewis (from the film Pride)

Programme Day 2 – 6 September 2017
9.30 am – 10.30 am
CHAIR – ALYS EINION Keynote address: Professor Martin Stringer, Pro-ViceChancellor, Swansea University
Herding dragons, intersectionality and the teaching of religion
10.30 am – 11.00 am Comfort Break
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
(4th Concurrent)

CHAIR – ERICH HOU Papers: trans research, and psychology

“Can I touch you? I’ve never met a real non-binary person”: the importance to inclusive curricula of equipping trans-identified students with research skills
Edith England, Swansea University

Queering the psychology curriculum: reflections on doing LGBT activism in the context of academic psychology
Nuno Nodin, Royal Holloway

The unicorn in the room: the impact of gendered expectations in clothing in Healthcare/HE environments
Josie Henley, Cardiff University Workshop

How to develop successful strategies for implementing change in your institution to enhance the experience of LGBTQ students and staff
Sean Russell, Get Out Stay Out Workshop

Bi exclusion and inclusion in higher education
Ele Hicks, Bi Cymru
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
(5th Concurrent)

CHAIR – Catherine Emmett Papers: teaching health & social care

Developing and advancing LGBT inclusivity in higher education curriculum
Maurice O’Brien, Caroline Ellis & David Clarke, Cardiff University

Gender and Sexual Diversity in Professional Practice Learning: Early Lessons from the DAPPLE Project
Nicki Ward, University of Birmingham

Medical students exploring gender through art
Zarabeth Newton & Tonya Neame, Cardiff University Workshop

Over the rainbow: small symbol, big impact, and uncovering ‘untold’ stories
Spectrum (LGBT+ staff network), USW Workshop

GO Wales employability scheme at Cardiff University and the University of South Wales
GO Wales for Cardiff and USW
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Lunch Break
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
CHAIR– ALYS EINION Plenary session: David Donovan, Negotiations Officer, BECTU
PRIDE: A Study in Solidarity

3:00 pm – 3.30 pm Afternoon Coffee Break
3.30 pm – 5:00 pm
CHAIR – Prof Martin STringer The Great Debate
Panel session with speakers from the conference
5:00 pm CONFERENCE CLOSE
Thank you and goodbye!

September 4th, 2017

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Last week I spent 5 days in the city of Mannheim, Germany, for a twin-city exchange on LGBT+ issues, accompanied by Network member Daf. Mannheim invited representatives from LGBT+ organisations from all of its twin cities to apply for a place at the event, and Swansea University’s LGBT+ Staff Network was offered 2 places on behalf of the city of Swansea. The other organisations and twin cities represented were LISTAG (Families and Friends of LGBTIs in Turkey) from Istanbul (Turkey), GENDERDOC-M Information Centre from Chisinau (Moldova), Haifa Rainbow Association from Haifa (Israel), and Community House from Haifa (Israel).

From left: Metehan (Istanbul), Anfonso (Germany), Arnon (Haifa), Slavi (Chisinau), Anastasia (Chisinau), Cath (Swansea), Daf (Swansea), Yoav (Israel).

On Thursday 10th August, I participated in the city’s Rainbow Reception event, which was the official city reception for all LGBT+ activists to celebrate Pride Weekend. The event was opened by the Major of Mannehim, Dr Ulrike Freundlieb, and was followed by a 40-minute interview with the twin city representatives. In the interview, I spoke about LGBT+ equality in the UK, including the Equality Act 2010 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. When asked if the fight for LGBT+ equality is over now that legal equality has been granted, I spoke about the importance of continued activism, particularly focusing on trans issues and intersectionality where significant barriers still remain, as well as the importance of being active allies to those in the community. Allyship is not just for those who are straight and cis, it is also for those of us within LGBT+ communities who have relative positions of privilege that we can use to affect positive change.

Afterwards we met the Mayor and the Twin City Commissioner Dr Ludovic Roy, and spoke with some press representatives about our organisations and LGBT+ activism work. Read more about the Rainbow Reception event on the official Mannheim website.

Far left: Dr Ulrike Freundlieb; far right: Dr Ludovic Roy.

On Friday 11th August, all twin city representatives met with various LGBT+ organisations and activists from Mannheim to share best practice and discuss ideas for how the twin cities could work together to advance LGBT+ equality in Europe. We talked about the situations in our own countries, the work we do, and ways to work together – suggestions that we’ve taken away include setting up a shared resource website, a Twin City LGBT+ Equality Network, and joint events including film festivals and Pride visits (watch this space!).

The aspect of the workshop that had the most value for me was hearing the other delegates talk about their experiences in their countries – e.g. in Turkey, the question Metehan hears the most from people who come to his LGBT center for help is “can you please cure my son/daughter?” and if he answers “no”, they will just go to a Doctor who will claim they can cure their child. In Moldova, Anastasia and Slavi’s organisation GENDERDOC-M is the only LGBT+ organisation in the whole country, and are entirely funded by European grants and donations – they receive zero government support, and in fact, Anastasia later told me that the reason she got into LGBT+ activism is because she received first-hand police discrimination for being queer where she was detained against her will by the police and had her ID confiscated. This served as a reminder to me not only of how far we’ve come in the UK, but also that there are still enormous barriers for LGBT+ people on our doorstep in Europe. But what was inspiring was the activists’ determination and courage to keep campaigning for equality despite discrimination, prejudice, and burnout.

 

On the Saturday, the twin city delegates were the guests of honour at the Mannheim Pride Parade – after being welcomed in the opening speeches, all twin city reps were invited to cut the ribbon and begin the parade, and then we marched at the very front through the city centre. The march had such a fun, uplifting vibe full of floats and lavish costumes and loud music, and the city was filled with members of the public taking photos and cheering us along the 1.5-hour parade route. The march ended at a street party in the Mannheim Palace grounds containing 70,000 visitors over the course of the day, where the university had a table – we made sure to promote our upcoming LGBTQ Inclusivity Conference there too!

Later in the afternoon a minute’s silence was held at the party in commemoration of the victims of homophobic violence in Chechnya, and the twin city reps were invited to read out the English translations of the German words of commemoration. A little while later, we were all invited back on stage to be interviewed about our LGBT+ activism work for the Pride audience.

One of the main things I learned from this visit was how much I overestimate perceived barriers to equality. It was fascinating to speak to people from other countries where human rights violations and discrimination against LGBT+ people is routine, or where their culture is so closely linked with religion in which many followers have deeply-entrenched resistance to LGBT+ rights. In the UK sometimes we perceive religion to be such an enormous barrier, when in fact we’re fortunate to live in such a pluralist and tolerant society by comparison to others in Europe. The experience has helped me see my own work through new eyes.

It was an incredible experience, and I’m honoured and grateful for the opportunity to have met so many inspiring LGBT+ activists from other nations and share our stories and ideas. The visit has inspired me to keep working towards LGBT+ equality in our own community, and to use our relative privilege here in the UK to support those who are still fighting for their civil rights in Europe and beyond. We’ve achieved a lot in the UK in regards to LGBT+ equality but there is always more that can be done.

Cath Elms
LGBT+ Staff Network co-chair, Equality Advisor

August 25th, 2017

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Second Annual LGBTQ Inclusivity in Higher Education Conference:
Facing the Dragon

5th and 6th September 2017
Hosted and Presented by Swansea University, Bay Campus.

In this national conference on inclusivity in Higher Education, we will explore how to bring intersectionality into inclusive curricula across the Higher Education landscape, bringing equality home to the seats of learning and research.

Papers and workshops will be offered on many different aspects of inclusivity in HE, looking at the implementation of inclusive curricula, student and staff groups and networks, work on gender, trans* and transition, work on feminism, ethnicity, religion, age, occupation or identity, at the intersection of equality for staff and students.

Keynote Addresses will be given by Professor Cara Aitchison, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff Metropolitan University: “From ‘marking difference’ to ‘making a difference’: the social-cultural nexus of power and personal responsibility in the leadership of higher education”, and Professor Martin Stringer, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Swansea University: “Herding dragons, intersectionality and the teaching of religion”. And a Plenary session will be led by Sian James, Welsh Labour Party politician and former MP for Swansea East, Sian James’ early political life story features in the film Pride.

The conference delegate fees are as follows.

Combined ticket (includes both days of the conference) – £95.
Day 1 only ticket – £50.
Day 2 only ticket – £50.

Combined concession ticket for students – £65.
Student day 1 only ticket – £35.
Student day 2 only ticket – £35.

Conference dinner – £35 (no concessions)

Book your place here!

A draft programme can be read here: LGBTQ Conference Programme draft

Detailed conference information including travel, accommodation, and accessibility, can be found here: Conference information for delegates

If you feel the costs would prevent you joining us, we have a limited Conference Fund available for free conference places (please note, carers will be provided a free space at the conference). To apply to the fund email lgbtplus@swansea.ac.uk with the subject ‘conference fund’ and a decision will be made on a case by case basis.

 

August 7th, 2017

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We have extended the deadline for submission of Abstracts to the 31 July 2017

See below for details

Swansea University, in Collaboration with the University of South Wales and Cardiff University would like to announce a Call for Papers and Save the Date for the:

Second Annual LGBTQ Inclusivity in Higher Education Conference:
Facing the Dragon

5th and 6th September 2017
Hosted and Presented by Swansea University, Wales, UK.

 

In this national conference on inclusivity in Higher Education, we will explore how to bring intersectionality into inclusive curricula across the Higher Education landscape, bringing equality home to the seats of learning and research.

We invite papers and posters on every aspect of inclusivity in HE, looking at the implementation of inclusive curricula, student and staff groups and networks, work on gender, trans* and transition, work on feminism, ethnicity, religion, age, occupation or identity, at the intersection of equality for staff and students. Maybe you have initiated a project to include more diverse authors on a curriculum, or signposted students to understanding the diverse backgrounds of leading figures in your field. Maybe you have published work that relates to inclusivity, or draw on diverse sources to develop your research and teaching practice. Maybe you work in an organisation that supports LGBTQ people and have insights from your own work to offer those within HE. We are looking for critical papers, discussion pieces, research, case studies and interactive workshops to develop inclusivity activities.

We invite scholars, activists, members of the community, students and others to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words, accompanied by a 50 word bio on any aspect of promoting inclusive curricula in HE, for either papers (15 minutes), interactive workshops (1 hour) or posters.

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 July 2017

Please send to: lgbtplus@swansea.ac.uk with ‘Abstract Submission’ in the subject

LGBTQ Chynwysoldeb yn Uwch Addysg GynhadleddAil Blynyddol LGBTQ Chynwysoldeb yn Uwch Addysg Gynhadledd :
Wynebu y Ddraig

5ed a 6ed medi 2017
Gynnal a Gyflwynwyd gan Brifysgol Abertawe, Cymru, y DU.

 

Yn y gynhadledd genedlaethol ar gynhwysiant mewn Addysg Uwch, rydym yn edrych ar sut i ddod rhyng-gysylltiadau i mewn cwricwla cynhwysol ar draws mae’r dirwedd Addysg Uwch, gan ddod â cydraddoldeb gartref i’r seddi dysgu ac ymchwil.

Rydym yn gwahodd papurau a phosteri ar bob agwedd o gynhwysiant yn ei FOD, yn edrych ar y gweithredu cwricwla cynhwysol, myfyrwyr a grwpiau staff a rhwydweithiau, yn gweithio ar rhyw, traws* a newid, yn gweithio ar ffeministiaeth, ethnigrwydd, crefydd, oed, galwedigaeth neu hunaniaeth, yn y groesffordd o gydraddoldeb ar gyfer staff a myfyrwyr. Efallai eich bod wedi cychwyn prosiect i gynnwys mwy amrywiol awduron ar y cwricwlwm neu arwydd myfyrwyr i ddeall y
gefndiroedd amrywiol o ffigurau blaenllaw yn eich pwnc. neu yn tynnu ar amrywiol ffynonellau I ddatblygu eich ymchwil ac ymarfer dysgu. Efallai eich bod yn gweithio mewn sefydliad sy’n cefnogi y boblo LHDTH+ ac wedi ennill dealltwriaeth o’r gwaith eich hun i gynnig y rhai o fewn Uwch Addysg. Rydym yn chwilio am hanfodol papurau, trafodaeth ddarnau, ymchwil, profiadau personol, astudiaethau achos a gweithdai rhyngweithiol i ddatblygu gweithgareddau cynhwysiant.

Rydym yn gwahodd ysgolheigion, gweithredwyr, aelodau o’r gymuned, myfyrwyr ac eraill i gyflwyno crynodeb o ddim mwy na 250 gair yng nghwmni 50 gair bywgraffiad ar unrhyw agwedd o hyrwyddo cynhwysol cwricwla mewn addysg uwch, naill ai ar gyfer papurau (15 munud), gweithdai rhyngweithiol gweithdai (1 awr) neu bosteri.

Dyddiad cau ar gyfer Cyflwyno Crynodeb: 311 gorffennaf 2017

Os gwelwch yn dda anfon i: lgbtplus@swansea.ac.uk gyda ‘Abstract Submission’ yn y pennawd

June 26th, 2017

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It is our great pleasure to give you a sneak preview of the delights on offer during our two-day conference on LGBT+ Inclusivity in HE this September.
Together with our colleagues from Cardiff University and the University of South Wales, we are working to bring you an innovative chance to engage with the future of education in Wales, in the UK, and across the world.

We have confirmed the following speakers:

Professor Cara Aitchison,President & Vice-Chancellor & Professor of Geography & Cultural Economy, Cardiff Metropolitan University, will offer the Keynote Address.

Sian James, former MP, will offer a plenary discussing her role in past and present politics, and referring to excerpts from the film Pride, fully locating our conference in the heartland of Welsh political activism

Professor Martin Stringer, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, will offer a plenary and will also chair our closing debate on Intersectionality: Reconciling Faith, Belief and Religion with LGBT+ Equality.

The amazing and talented Bronwen Lewis, musician, (featured in the film Pride) will provide the entertainment for our conference dinner.

There will be a range of speakers, including those providing practical insight into improving inclusivity across the HE landscape, and bringing their experience and research to you.

Workshops will also address key issues of promoting inclusion and improving the student experience.

So come and join us at the beach for two days of networking, learning, sharing and fun, demonstrating our commitment to an inclusive future.

with very best wishes

Alys Einion and Cath Elms, co-chairs of Swansea LGBT+ Staff Network

Access the call for papers here:

email us: lgbtplus@Swansea.ac.uk

 

June 19th, 2017

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Call for Papers:

Here are Swansea, we are delighted to be working in partnership with colleagues from Cardiff University and the University of South Wales, to present an exciting conference in LGBT+ Inclusivity and Equality.
The conference will be held on the 5 and 6 September, 2017, and booking details will be sent out soon.
The Call for Papers is accessible via the link above, and I would like to encourage everyone to consider contributing. This can be a research piece, an experience of being a student or member of staff in HE, an activity, a workshop, or even a poem, slide show, short film or anything else. We are looking for academics, teachers, students, members of the community, researchers, artists – and we want to make this an inclusive conference which challenges us all to make Higher Education the most supportive environment we can for all students and all staff.

For any questions, please contact the Swansea University LGBT+ Staff Network on lgbtplus@swansea.ac.uk

We very much look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful Bay Campus and sharing knowledge, expertise and ideas as we drive forward the equality agenda.

with very best wishes

Alys Einion and Cath Elms, Co-Chairs of the Swansea University LGBT+ Staff Network

June 1st, 2017

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Here are two experiences of pieces that have influenced me at various stages in my life. Having re read and re watched both I think how we are influenced very much depends where we are in our lives. But the truly great works let us take different things from them at different times.

 

The well of loneliness:

The well of loneliness by Radclyffe Hall is a 1928 lesbian novel which was banned on publication and not released in Britain until 1949 after Hall’s death. It was given to me ten years ago when I was an acting student in London. During the first year of my degree I met a wonderful woman who has since become a very good friend; she introduced me to it. I was in a very open, creative place and I devoured the book. I could relate to certain parts of the story but mainly I was excited that these stories existed, they certainly didn’t sell books like this in WHSmiths in Llanelli!

Several years later I became part of a book club with a different group of friends and we each took turn to recommend an influential book. This was my choice. I proudly shared the book and eagerly awaited everyone’s response. Naively at the time I expected everyone to be as instantly won over and inspired as I was. However the reality was they all hated it. They tore it apart labelling it depressing and too long. I was distraught. I opened a bottle of wine and spent a long evening passionately debating with them. I re read it again a few years later with many more years of life experience behind me and I could see their points more objectively. It is a long book, it is descriptive and it certainly isn’t a happy story but in my opinion it is a piece of beautiful and brave literature. It’s an honest story and it inspired me at an important time in my life.

 

Angels in America:

Angels in America is a play by Tony Kushner which was made in to a film starring Meryl Streep, Al Pacino and Emma Thompson (among many other fantastic actors) in 2003. It’s set in 1985 and centres around several characters connected by the Aids epidemic. Both the play and film are split into two chapters and in total, it takes seven hours to watch. I have sat through the film many times and several years ago watched the play in London. It requires an open mind, stamina and lots of snacks. The National Theatre are currently working on a production that in a few months will be screened to hundreds of cinemas across the country.

In keeping with my wanting to share plays, books, films that have influenced me I bought the film for my wife a few years ago but made the mistake of telling her it’s seven hours long. We haven’t got round to it yet. I’m trying to find a fine balance between highly recommending she watch it and not putting too much pressure on it so that it becomes a chore! I have however bought us tickets for the National Theatre screening in July so she has a short window before I force her into a seven hour evening! Again, if you have the time I would recommend it. It truly is a fantastic piece of work.

 

Lyndsey Fouracre-Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 27th, 2017

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Catherine Fletcher reflects on reading Gary Ferguson’s new book Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity and Community in Early Modern Europe (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2016).

 

 

Although it isn’t the main focus of my research, over the years I’ve taught a number of classes on sexuality in early modern Europe. One of the most challenging issues for students is getting to grips with the idea that sexual identities five hundred years ago didn’t necessarily follow the patterns or labels we know today, and that the idea of a ‘homosexual’ type of person arose only in the nineteenth century.

 

The prevalence of ‘gay gene’ arguments in the past twenty years, and the dominance of the idea that LGBT people are ‘born not made’ – which indeed reflects the experience of many, but not all, people who define as LGBT – are a challenge when it comes to engaging with the rather different attitudes towards sexual identity that prevailed in the European past.

 

It is fairly well-established that quite a lot of men in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy had sex with other men without having a ‘homosexual’ identity. It was a stage in a lifecycle where men typically married in their late 30s or 40s (to much younger women) and where young women’s sexuality was subject to close control. Ferguson’s contribution, in his new book on Same Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome, is to suggest that for some men, however, ‘a permanent homosexual desire was a defining characteristic, not only of their sexual life but also of their life more generally’.

 

He makes this case with a small-scale study of a tragic event that took place in Rome in 1578. It involved a group of mainly Spanish men who had gathered at the church of San Giovanni in Porta Latina, as they often did, to have sex with other men. On 20 July that year they had planned a wedding and accompanying feast for two of their number. The wedding did not go ahead (one of the grooms was ill). Worse was to come: the authorities got wind of the plans, and eleven of the men were arrested. They were interrogated and tortured, and eight of them were burnt at the stake.

 

We know about this story because, in 1581, the French essayist Michel Montaigne heard it, and recorded it in his travel journal. Ferguson adds to this account details from the men’s trial (which survives in part; it was apparently burnt with them), from their wills and from other correspondence written by people in Rome at the time. The details of what happened on the day itself remain sketchy, but the men’s testimony raises fascinating questions about how sexual identity was understood in this period. This is not only the case as regards the extent to which sexual identity might be central to an individual’s sense of self, but also in terms of sexual practice. Most scholarship to date has argued that sexual roles in same-sex relationships in this period were typically fixed with one active and one passive partner, but at least some of this Roman community were versatile and switched roles within their partnerships.

 

This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of same-sex relationships.

 

 

Catherine Fletcher is Associate Professor in History and Heritage at Swansea University. Her full review of Gary Ferguson’s book will be up at H-Net Reviews shortly.

 

February 27th, 2017

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Review of the Pride and Prejudice LGBT+ Symposium

Last week the Network held our first LGBT+ symposium titled ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which was a celebration of LGBT+ people in history, literature, the media and politics.  The event included a diverse range of keynote speakers from the LGBT+ community, as well as researchers and academics, each providing an insight into the varied and valuable history of LGBT+ people.

Director of Student Services Kevin Child opened the day with a passionate address on the importance of celebrating LGBT+ history, and highlighting the great work that is currently going on in the Swansea area.

The talks of the day were structured into four themed sessions: ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer’, ‘Talking Trans*’, ‘Ups and Downs’, and ‘Making History Today’. Each session contained an engaging mix of academic papers and talks from LGBT+ people sharing their own personal stories.

The Staff Network co-chairs were proud to participate alongside such great speakers; Alys provided the keynote speech setting the scene at the start of the day, exploring issues of LGBT+ identity and shared history, and Cath provided an engaging talk on fanzines and self-publishing as a means of doing queer activism. The Network interim vice-chair Eve Moriarty also contributed a fascinating paper that explored drag and gender fluidity.

In the afternoon, journalism students from the university came to film the event as part of their documentary on LGBT activism in Swansea, and the Network co-chairs were interviewed on topics including inclusivity at the university.

Towards the end of the day, a panel discussion was held on the importance of recognising and celebrating LGBT+ history, featuring a range of experiences from across the LGBT spectrum. The panel discussion was followed by an open floor Q&A session, which featured great audience participation and an exploration of some challenging issues.

The event was closed by Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, who gave an enthusiastic speech on the importance of LGBT activism and expressing pride at the achievements of Swansea University over the last two years in this area. Hilary also shared the exciting news that today the rainbow flag was successfully raised on the flagpole over Swansea University for the first time, demonstrating a clear and visible commitment to LGBT issues. The flag will stay up for the duration of LGBT History Month.

The symposium provided attendees with some unique and interesting personal stories, new perspectives on the issues, and some actionable ideas on how to progress LGBT+ equality in the future.

 

By Cath Elms

Co-Chair, LGBT+ Staff Network

 

Cath’s previous posts:

Straight Until Proven Queer

On Being an Imperfect Role Model

Ada Lovelace’s Poetical Science

 

February 27th, 2017

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