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LGBT+ History Month 2024 at UCL

26 January 2024

LGBT+ History Month 2024 sees a month-long programme of events and activities. Read on for a round-up of what’s on, plus key resources and recordings.

LGBT+ History Month 2024 logo. The theme is Medicine #UnderTheScope, and the logo features a heart-shaped LGBTQ+ flag surrounded by a graphic of a stethoscope.

On this page: 

Noel Caliste, Chair of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group (LESG) / Out@UCL and Professor Nephtali Marina-Gonzalez, Vice-Dean EDI (Faculty of Medical Sciences), reflect on this year’s theme, Medicine – #UnderTheScope, in their forewords. 

Foreword from Noel Caliste 

This year’s theme for LBGTQ+ History Month is Medicine – #UnderTheScope, aimed at shining a light on our contributions to the field of medicine while also highlighting the LGBTQ+ community's experience in receiving healthcare treatment. 

Neph, as a Vice Dean for EDI within the Faculty of Medical Sciences, played a key role in the development of the recently launched LGBTQ+ Action Plan and in acknowledgement of the theme we asked him to share some insights (see below). 

Recently, half-jokingly I said to a colleague that I thought the self-testing STI kits weren’t made with the consideration of the black community, as I hadn’t met someone who had been able to successfully take blood using the kit. They did a bit of digging and it turned out that differences in the formation of the blood suggests that I may be onto something. While strides have been made in medicine there is still a lot of work to be done, along with the acknowledgement and consideration that one size doesn’t fit all, our lived experiences will differ (particularly when it comes to intersectionality), and therefore the support we receive needs to reflect that, even for something that may seem trivial such as sexual health testing. 

Noel Caliste 
Chair, LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group (LESG) / Out@UCL 

Foreword from Professor Nephtali Marina-Gonzalez 

In contemporary healthcare landscapes, the LGBTQ+ community grapples with persistent and distinctive disparities that impact various facets of their well-being. A recent study has shed light on the disparities in health outcomes, revealing that among men aged 50 and above, those with non-heterosexual orientations face an increased risk of reporting long-term illnesses and health-related limitations. Disturbingly, indicators of mental health underscore the challenges faced by gay and bisexual men, who are more likely to report low life satisfaction and have a higher prevalence of suicide attempts over their lifetime. Another study reported that LGBTQ+ individuals face elevated levels of mental health challenges, an absence of suitable mental health assistance, and notable instances of discrimination within the sexual minority community, encompassing stereotyping and racism. A particularly poignant thread is woven by the experiences of stigmatisation at the hands of healthcare professionals. This layer of inequity compounds the challenges already present, as individuals within the LGBTQ+ spectrum navigate a healthcare landscape marked by biases, ignorance, and discrimination. The intersectionality of healthcare disparities and stigmatisation underscores the urgency for systemic change, demanding a healthcare environment that is not only accessible but also free from the biases that hinder the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. Addressing these issues requires ongoing efforts, including comprehensive training for healthcare professionals, the establishment of inclusive policies, and the creation of supportive environments that prioritise the health and well-being of all patients, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Advocacy for LGBTQ+-inclusive healthcare practices can contribute to dismantling stigmas and improving the overall healthcare experience for LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Sadly, these disparities extend beyond healthcare access and infiltrate the professional realm, especially in fields like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A study found that STEM professionals who identify as LGBTQ+ faced a higher likelihood of encountering career restrictions, harassment, and a diminished professional standing compared to their non-LGBTQ counterparts. Additionally, they expressed experiencing more frequent health challenges and demonstrated a greater inclination to consider leaving the field of STEM. As Vice Dean (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) for the Faculty of Medical Sciences and member of the UCL LGBTQ+ Equality Implementation Group, I want to see our institution addressing work disparities for LGBTQ+ people by implementing comprehensive strategies that create an inclusive and supportive workplace environment. This involves advocating for inclusive hiring practices that actively seek diversity, including LGBTQ+ candidates, encouraging the removal of biases in recruitment processes and the establishment of diverse interview panels. To achieve our goal, it is crucial to implement comprehensive training programmes for all employees. These programmes will focus on raising awareness about LGBTQ+ issues, fostering inclusivity, and challenging biases. Integral to this initiative is the introduction of information on respectful language, cultural competency, and the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace. Developing mentorship programmes that specifically address the needs of LGBTQ+ employees and encouraging senior leaders to mentor LGBTQ+ individuals, fostering career growth and creating a more inclusive workplace culture, will contribute to breaking down systemic barriers and fostering a culture of belonging. Through these interventions, we are not just aiming for change; we are catalysing a transformative shift that will make a tangible difference in our organisational culture. 

Professor Nephtali Marina-Gonzalez, Vice Dean (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion), Faculty of Medical Sciences 

Share your book recommendations for LGBT+ History Month 

UCL Library Services are compiling a list of book recommendations from across the UCL community to celebrate LGBT+ History Month – whether they’re ‘on theme’ or not, please share your top reads here! 

Events 

This webpage will be updated with additional events as they are announced, so please do check back! If you are hosting a UCL event for LGBT+ History Month that you’d like to add to this page, get in touch with us here

All month

Students' Union UCL will be running a huge range of activities for LGBT+ History Month – from talks and movie screenings to craft evenings and zine making. Find out more!

1 February 2024, 1–2 pm: Lunch Hour Lecture | The role of popular culture for queer teen identities 

Online/open to all. In this talk marking LGBTQ+ History Month, Dr Vazquez Rodriguez will be discussing the ways in which popular culture constitutes a privileged site for LGBTIQ+ teenagers’ identity formation, looking at the queer protagonists of Netflix’s hit TV show “Sex Education”. More information and registration 

1 February 2024, 6:15–7:30 pm: LGBTI Rights Revolutions and the Moral Conservative Oppositions 

In person/online/open to all. Join us for Phillip Ayoub's inaugural lecture as he examines the dynamic landscape of LGBTI rights, delving into the complexities of transnational activism amid a strong moral conservative opposition. Find out more and sign up

3 February 2024, 6.30pm: Too Crip Too Queer? 

In person/open to all. A night of poetry and drama by disabled writers and performers. Centering the crip experience, bringing it into conversation with queerness, not seeking to justify or explain. CRIPtic Arts will be running a number of workshops related to this performance. Find out more and sign up

8 February 2024, 4.30pm–7.30pm: The Future of EDI: Raising Our Voice' presents 'Creating Space for all LGBTQIA+ Voices'

In person/open to all. Join the Department of Psychology and Human Development (IOE) for our second event, to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. Senior Research Technician Vassilis Sideropoulos will host a session for students and staff to talk about navigating predominantly heteronormative spaces, with a panel of UCL staff who have ‘created a space’ for themselves in their successful careers. More information and sign up.

14 February 2024, 10am–12pm: Trans inclusive feminism, gender critical feminism: Culture wars in the media

In person/online/open to all. In this talk, Professor Deborah Shaw (she/her/hers) discusses, from a trans inclusive point of view, the feminist rift within University culture and the wider impact it has had in the British media landscape. This talk is part of a multi-month series taking place from February–June 2024 with a variety of talks given by leading academics and current researchers in trans-inclusive research and study. Sign up either to attend in person, or to watch the livestream.

21 February 2024 2–4pm: SHS Staff LGBTQ+ Coffee and chat 

In person/open to staff. An informal and welcoming space for staff members to socialise with colleagues who identify as LGBTQ+ or have an interest in LGBTQ+ issues. Join us in the Wilkins Garden Room, refreshments provided. No need to book - just drop in!

21 February 2024 5–9pm: LGBTQ+ in STEM networking symposium 

In person/open to all. Join Proud Crick for our LGBTQ+ in STEM symposium. We would like to invite LGBTQ+ networks from universities and scientific organisations in and surrounding London to join us in an evening of talks, diversity, and networking. This year’s LGBT+ History Month theme is Medicine. In this vein, we invite you to join us to consider the past and future progressions in LGBTQ+ diversity in science, healthcare, and medicine.

22 February 2024, 7pm–8.45pm: Queerness as Extremism: The Assault on LGBTQ+ Rights in Russia

In person and online/open to all. As part of the TMT lecture series, SSEES PhD student Olga Doletskaya, an anthropologist studying contemporary queer lives in Russia, will contextualise the anti-LGBTQ+ crackdown by looking at Russia’s recent queer history. Dr Ben Noble, Associate Professor of Russian Politics, will chair. Find out more and register.

More information: Resources, podcasts, recordings

 

LGBT+ History Month logo courtesy of LGBT+ History Month.