University of Winchester challenges homphobia on campus

Daily Echo: Professor Eric Anderson Professor Eric Anderson

It would once have been a very brave teenager who told his classmates he was gay.

But one lecturer at the University of Winchester is hoping his students (and colleagues) will be prepared to declare their sexuality publicly.

Professor Eric Anderson, who is known for his research into sport, masculinity, sexuality and homophobia, is so confident in changing attitudes towards homosexuality he is preparing to introduce Britain’s first university ‘Outlist’ – an online record of openly gay students and staff.

The scheme – which could launch this autumn as part of the university’s revamped website – is a chance for openly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) students and staff members to make their sexuality known.

“It’s something that has been happening on American student newspapers for some time but if it goes ahead Winchester will become the first university in Britain to try it out online,” says Prof Anderson who teaches in the University’s Sports Science department.

“As a university, Winchester is at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and a culture of celebration for its LGBT students and staff. The Outlist is just one of the ways we could do that.

“It will be a chance for people to declare their support for the LGBT community and make a statement about their sexuality – an open network for students to meet one another, post events and see for themselves how inclusive the University of Winchester is.”

The Internet, says Prof Anderson, has made a huge contribution to reducing homophobia in recent years.

“It has allowed people to come out of the closet earlier and to form communities,”

he said.

“Suddenly you’ve got social networking sites like Facebook that ask you to declare your sexuality on your profile.

“For young people growing up with social networking there’s nothing unusual in telling people you’re interested in men, women or both.

“Sexuality isn’t private anymore. Young people are growing up with the visibility of homosexuality and it’s encouraged a new level of acceptance among youth.”

Originally from California, Professor Anderson has published eight books exploring sport, masculinity, sexuality and homophobia as well as numerous papers in what is a relatively infant area of research.

His work suggests a rapid decline in homophobia among sportsmen.

While it is still difficult to name more than a handful of openly gay sports stars (most recently British cricketer Steven Davies, British and Irish rugby player Gareth Thomas and Swedish footballer Anton Hysen) Prof Anderson insists that his research in schools, universities and colleges points towards a growing acceptance of homosexuality in the sporting world.

“Ten years ago it was difficult to find any openly gay athletes to come forward and talk to me for my research but now it is much easier,” he said.

Sport, he says, is no longer the exclusively straight environment it once was with male sportsmen showing a rapidly increasing level of acceptance of their gay team mates.

Shifting definitions of masculinity and what Prof Anderson calls a “softening”

of masculinity among young straight men is helping to drive this greater level of tolerance.

In Prof Anderson’s less gendered world men can do things that were once coded as feminine and not be stigmatised.

“Anything associated with femininity was once seen as a symbol of homosexuality.

“It was forbidden for straight men to touch each other in an endearing way, to be too fashionable, to wear pink or purple or to express fear or love for their male friends. Only certain types of beverage were acceptable for a straight man to drink.

“Now we are seeing a softening of masculinity that brings the previously polarised worlds of masculine and feminine together.”

Even the nature of male friendships is evolving.

“Ninety per cent of heterosexual undergraduates report they have kissed a male friend on the lips. It’s not a sexual thing. Young men are just more able to open up and disclose love for their friends in the way women could before but men couldn’t without being labelled as gay.

“Male friendships used to be defined by what men did together – going to the pub, playing sports. Now they are more like female friendships, defined by the secrets they disclose to one another.

There’s even a trend for guys to put their male friends ahead of their girlfriends.”

These close, loving friendships or ‘bromances’ between straight men (epitomised by on screen duos such as Joey and Chandler in Friends or Morecambe and Wise in the 1970s help to break down barriers between traditionally masculine and feminine behaviours.

“I think we’re moving towards a society in which men’s masculinty is based on acceptance rather than violence,”

said Prof Anderson.

“It’s important to say that declining homophobia is uneven.

“Pockets of homophobia still exist and I don’t want to suggest that everything is fine but things are moving in the right direction and moving more rapidly than at any other time.

“I hope they continue to improve and I’m proud that Winchester is positioning itself at the forefront when it comes to inclusivity and diversity.”

Comments (22)

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8:43pm Mon 20 Jun 11

ameliaS says...

I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?
I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else? ameliaS
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Mon 20 Jun 11

Maybush Lad says...

ameliaS wrote:
I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?
It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so.
I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.
[quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?[/p][/quote]It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach. Maybush Lad
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Mon 20 Jun 11

ameliaS says...

Maybush Lad wrote:
ameliaS wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?
It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.
But if we don't know, then we treat everyone the same judging them as human beings rather than by their sexual orientation.
[quote][p][bold]Maybush Lad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?[/p][/quote]It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.[/p][/quote]But if we don't know, then we treat everyone the same judging them as human beings rather than by their sexual orientation. ameliaS
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Mon 20 Jun 11

Maybush Lad says...

ameliaS wrote:
Maybush Lad wrote:
ameliaS wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?
It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.
But if we don't know, then we treat everyone the same judging them as human beings rather than by their sexual orientation.
Indeed, unfortunately some people, when they find out, begin judgement. Hiding their sexuality so they'll be judged as individuals isn't the way to combat the prejudice, all that'll do is create more and more unhealthy attitudes both in the gay community and outside it.
I agree that in some quarters there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sexuality but adopting a "if people don't know it won't matter" stance isn't going to help and very likely will become self defeating.
I'll add as a footnote that obsessing over ones sexuality could also be self defeating.
[quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maybush Lad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?[/p][/quote]It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.[/p][/quote]But if we don't know, then we treat everyone the same judging them as human beings rather than by their sexual orientation.[/p][/quote]Indeed, unfortunately some people, when they find out, begin judgement. Hiding their sexuality so they'll be judged as individuals isn't the way to combat the prejudice, all that'll do is create more and more unhealthy attitudes both in the gay community and outside it. I agree that in some quarters there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sexuality but adopting a "if people don't know it won't matter" stance isn't going to help and very likely will become self defeating. I'll add as a footnote that obsessing over ones sexuality could also be self defeating. Maybush Lad
  • Score: 0

11:22pm Mon 20 Jun 11

ameliaS says...

Maybush Lad wrote:
ameliaS wrote:
Maybush Lad wrote:
ameliaS wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?
It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.
But if we don't know, then we treat everyone the same judging them as human beings rather than by their sexual orientation.
Indeed, unfortunately some people, when they find out, begin judgement. Hiding their sexuality so they'll be judged as individuals isn't the way to combat the prejudice, all that'll do is create more and more unhealthy attitudes both in the gay community and outside it. I agree that in some quarters there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sexuality but adopting a "if people don't know it won't matter" stance isn't going to help and very likely will become self defeating. I'll add as a footnote that obsessing over ones sexuality could also be self defeating.
Your measured comments are interesting. Further up this page is a advert for "All Gay Cruises". I have never seen an advert for "All Heterosexual Cruises". I pick my holidays by looking at the destination, accommodation, price etc. My sexuality doesn't feature at all. Do you have to be homosexual to go on an All Gay Cruise? Is sex top of the list (i.e. unhealthy preoccupation) when homosexuals think of going on holiday?
[quote][p][bold]Maybush Lad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maybush Lad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?[/p][/quote]It's because many other people still don't treat them the same as everyone else that they're resorting to these methods. Homophobia is still rampant in some quarters, despite the progress made over the last 10 years or so. I'm not convinced that an "out list" is necessarily the best way to go about this and I agree it risks more labels but I can understand why they're taking this approach.[/p][/quote]But if we don't know, then we treat everyone the same judging them as human beings rather than by their sexual orientation.[/p][/quote]Indeed, unfortunately some people, when they find out, begin judgement. Hiding their sexuality so they'll be judged as individuals isn't the way to combat the prejudice, all that'll do is create more and more unhealthy attitudes both in the gay community and outside it. I agree that in some quarters there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sexuality but adopting a "if people don't know it won't matter" stance isn't going to help and very likely will become self defeating. I'll add as a footnote that obsessing over ones sexuality could also be self defeating.[/p][/quote]Your measured comments are interesting. Further up this page is a advert for "All Gay Cruises". I have never seen an advert for "All Heterosexual Cruises". I pick my holidays by looking at the destination, accommodation, price etc. My sexuality doesn't feature at all. Do you have to be homosexual to go on an All Gay Cruise? Is sex top of the list (i.e. unhealthy preoccupation) when homosexuals think of going on holiday? ameliaS
  • Score: 0

12:22am Tue 21 Jun 11

JimmyShoey says...

No, you don't have to be gay to go on that cruise ameliaS, in the same way that you don't have to be gay/lesbian/bisexual to take part in, say, a Gay Pride event. The point of both of those is celebrating the variation, not forcing each other apart or persecuting the minority through our differences in lifestyle. Also, sex is not top of the list in both these instances because it's about people being able to enjoy everyday occasions and, as a by-product, being able to meet like-minded people on the off chance you might find someone you have a shot at happiness with - something we as heterosexuals often take for granted. It's a shame to assume it's orientated all around sex, because I personally really doubt it is.
No, you don't have to be gay to go on that cruise ameliaS, in the same way that you don't have to be gay/lesbian/bisexual to take part in, say, a Gay Pride event. The point of both of those is celebrating the variation, not forcing each other apart or persecuting the minority through our differences in lifestyle. Also, sex is not top of the list in both these instances because it's about people being able to enjoy everyday occasions and, as a by-product, being able to meet like-minded people on the off chance you might find someone you have a shot at happiness with - something we as heterosexuals often take for granted. It's a shame to assume it's orientated all around sex, because I personally really doubt it is. JimmyShoey
  • Score: 0

12:50am Tue 21 Jun 11

Maybush Lad says...

@ameliaS, you seem to have missed the point here. In an ideal world sexuality wouldn't matter and people wouldn't give too hoots about what orientation a person is, therefore gay cruises wouldn’t be necessary. The fact is we don't live in an ideal world and homophobia is still very rampant. As JimmyShoey just point out gay cruises and gay pride events etc came about as a means to challenge that prejudice in society and provide support for those people either suffering at the hands of homophobes or for these wanting to come out of the closet. That sort of public exposure needs to happen for those bad attitudes to change. Cutting out the references to that sexuality won't achieve the same result; and as I said will only serve to further the prejudice.
@ameliaS, you seem to have missed the point here. In an ideal world sexuality wouldn't matter and people wouldn't give too hoots about what orientation a person is, therefore gay cruises wouldn’t be necessary. The fact is we don't live in an ideal world and homophobia is still very rampant. As JimmyShoey just point out gay cruises and gay pride events etc came about as a means to challenge that prejudice in society and provide support for those people either suffering at the hands of homophobes or for these wanting to come out of the closet. That sort of public exposure needs to happen for those bad attitudes to change. Cutting out the references to that sexuality won't achieve the same result; and as I said will only serve to further the prejudice. Maybush Lad
  • Score: 0

8:48am Tue 21 Jun 11

sjames6621 says...

the issue is real simple. More then anything else, getting gays out of the closet is job #1

its hard to hate people you know and respect.

And so easy to hate the invisible "them", a lesson we learned when hitler,in the runup to the holocaust put the Jews in the ghettos.

And further more, it will stop the homohphobic jokes that in my country, the USA, give us a 9-11 every year of 3000 gay kids who commit suicide.

Not to many of the homophobes are very brave when they know a gay person and his/her friends are there listening, for bullies are really chickens
the issue is real simple. More then anything else, getting gays out of the closet is job #1 its hard to hate people you know and respect. And so easy to hate the invisible "them", a lesson we learned when hitler,in the runup to the holocaust put the Jews in the ghettos. And further more, it will stop the homohphobic jokes that in my country, the USA, give us a 9-11 every year of 3000 gay kids who commit suicide. Not to many of the homophobes are very brave when they know a gay person and his/her friends are there listening, for bullies are really chickens sjames6621
  • Score: 0

8:51am Tue 21 Jun 11

sjames6621 says...

the issue is real simple. More then anything else, getting gays out of the closet is job #1

its hard to hate people you know and respect.

And so easy to hate the invisible "them", a lesson we learned when hitler,in the runup to the holocaust put the Jews in the ghettos.

And further more, it will stop the homohphobic jokes that in my country, the USA, give us a 9-11 every year of 3000 gay kids who commit suicide.

Not to many of the homophobes are very brave when they know a gay person and his/her friends are there listening, for bullies are really chickens
the issue is real simple. More then anything else, getting gays out of the closet is job #1 its hard to hate people you know and respect. And so easy to hate the invisible "them", a lesson we learned when hitler,in the runup to the holocaust put the Jews in the ghettos. And further more, it will stop the homohphobic jokes that in my country, the USA, give us a 9-11 every year of 3000 gay kids who commit suicide. Not to many of the homophobes are very brave when they know a gay person and his/her friends are there listening, for bullies are really chickens sjames6621
  • Score: 0

8:53am Tue 21 Jun 11

sjames6621 says...

“Ninety per cent of heterosexual undergraduates report they have kissed a male friend on the lips. It’s not a sexual thing. end qquote.

I do kiss my gay best friend on the neck or cheek, but not on the lips.

he was surprised the first time i did it until I expalined = "its not about sex at all - its about RESPECT
“Ninety per cent of heterosexual undergraduates report they have kissed a male friend on the lips. It’s not a sexual thing. end qquote. I do kiss my gay best friend on the neck or cheek, but not on the lips. he was surprised the first time i did it until I expalined = "its not about sex at all - its about RESPECT sjames6621
  • Score: 0

9:05am Tue 21 Jun 11

Condor Man says...

What a waste of time and money. If people want to be gay that's fine but we really need to stop all this monitoring of people. It doesn't matter what your creed, colour, or sexual orientation is, just be yourself.
What a waste of time and money. If people want to be gay that's fine but we really need to stop all this monitoring of people. It doesn't matter what your creed, colour, or sexual orientation is, just be yourself. Condor Man
  • Score: 0

10:11am Tue 21 Jun 11

mikeyt says...

What has one's sexuality got to do with the education system anyway?

SW yeah-push
What has one's sexuality got to do with the education system anyway? SW yeah-push mikeyt
  • Score: 0

11:37am Tue 21 Jun 11

Shoong says...

A waste of time, money & effort.
A waste of time, money & effort. Shoong
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Tue 21 Jun 11

Beer Monster says...

mikeyt wrote:
What has one's sexuality got to do with the education system anyway?

SW yeah-push
Agreed, look at the likes of Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde - two of the greatest people ever to have worked within their respective fields...
[quote][p][bold]mikeyt[/bold] wrote: What has one's sexuality got to do with the education system anyway? SW yeah-push[/p][/quote]Agreed, look at the likes of Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde - two of the greatest people ever to have worked within their respective fields... Beer Monster
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Tue 21 Jun 11

Student2011 says...

Shoong wrote:
A waste of time, money & effort.
You say that to a LGBT 6th form student who may have been bullied throughout their educational experience and are looking for a place that will welcome them and give them the support they require. This is going to show people searching for the university places that the University of Winchester is inclusive and holds a LGBT friendly environment. What a great resource this will be.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: A waste of time, money & effort.[/p][/quote]You say that to a LGBT 6th form student who may have been bullied throughout their educational experience and are looking for a place that will welcome them and give them the support they require. This is going to show people searching for the university places that the University of Winchester is inclusive and holds a LGBT friendly environment. What a great resource this will be. Student2011
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Tue 21 Jun 11

Student2011 says...

Beer Monster wrote:
mikeyt wrote:
What has one's sexuality got to do with the education system anyway?

SW yeah-push
Agreed, look at the likes of Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde - two of the greatest people ever to have worked within their respective fields...
Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde were both prosecuted for homosexuality. If that doesn't say enough about why teaching around sexualities and showing support for sexual minorities isnt an important issue in education then I don't know what is. This out-list will lead to greater exposure to LGBT issues and persons. Well done to the University of Winchester!
[quote][p][bold]Beer Monster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mikeyt[/bold] wrote: What has one's sexuality got to do with the education system anyway? SW yeah-push[/p][/quote]Agreed, look at the likes of Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde - two of the greatest people ever to have worked within their respective fields...[/p][/quote]Alan Turing and Oscar Wilde were both prosecuted for homosexuality. If that doesn't say enough about why teaching around sexualities and showing support for sexual minorities isnt an important issue in education then I don't know what is. This out-list will lead to greater exposure to LGBT issues and persons. Well done to the University of Winchester! Student2011
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Tue 21 Jun 11

Hefin Jones says...

The list is a very good idea. Like sjames6621 mentioned, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are the invisible minority. Much of the institutionalised homophobia and biphobia that exists in schools, the workplace and in society as a whole is because it's so easy to hate or have prejudices against people you never see - or think you never see. If society is to achieve equality for sexual minorities, then we need increased visibility to let people know L, G and B are here and are real people. What this proposed list does is encourage people to step forward and say 'yeah, I'm gay/lesbian/bisexual
, and I don't have to hide it' while giving the solidarity of knowing that you're putting your name down proudly with other L,G and B people.

Some of the people that commented have missed the point unfortunately, particularly ameliaS. In an ideal world gay people would not need gay bars, gay prides and LGBT societies, we would be equal, and that's all we're striving for, but while people are hounded, bullied, tortured, murdered and forced into suicide because of their sexuality then the LGBT community is not equal and as such needs to stand in solidarity to live safe happy lives while making change for the future.

I hope this list works and that is sets a leading example to other institutions around the country - and further.
The list is a very good idea. Like sjames6621 mentioned, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are the invisible minority. Much of the institutionalised homophobia and biphobia that exists in schools, the workplace and in society as a whole is because it's so easy to hate or have prejudices against people you never see - or think you never see. If society is to achieve equality for sexual minorities, then we need increased visibility to let people know L, G and B are here and are real people. What this proposed list does is encourage people to step forward and say 'yeah, I'm gay/lesbian/bisexual , and I don't have to hide it' while giving the solidarity of knowing that you're putting your name down proudly with other L,G and B people. Some of the people that commented have missed the point unfortunately, particularly ameliaS. In an ideal world gay people would not need gay bars, gay prides and LGBT societies, we would be equal, and that's all we're striving for, but while people are hounded, bullied, tortured, murdered and forced into suicide because of their sexuality then the LGBT community is not equal and as such needs to stand in solidarity to live safe happy lives while making change for the future. I hope this list works and that is sets a leading example to other institutions around the country - and further. Hefin Jones
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Tue 21 Jun 11

WriterJess says...

I am really saddened by some of the homophobic comments in this article.

The very first comment on this article states that "heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc." The thing is, heterosexual people do already have all those things - it's called the every day world! Heterosexuality is everywhere. A straight person can turn on the TV, open a magazine or just take a quick look around them in day to day life, and they are guaranteed to see their sexuality represented. For people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or any other of the multitude of different sexualities and gender identities out there, this is not the case. We have to fight every day to have our voices heard, to be seen as equal members of society.

I am shocked by some of the comments which seem to suggest we should just keep quiet about our sexuality so as not to be judged. We should not have to keep quiet! Coming out as LGBT does not mean that we are "preoccupied" with our sexuality or with sex. Homophobia is, sadly, alive and well - and we need to challenge it! And things like this are a great step forward in a fight which is very much still ongoing - the fight for the most basic of rights, to be treated equally to everybody else without fear of persecution, judgement or harrassment.

Not so long ago, I was heading off to begin my course at the university of Winchester, having no idea how people would respond if I came out as bisexual, and whether the university would be a friendly and accepting environment. I wish something like this had existed then! What a fantastic resource for new students who might be nervous about coming out, perhaps doing so for the first time in their lives.

I think what Professor Anderson is doing here is fantastic! Of course it's completely optional for people to put their names on the list, and I think it's a great way for LGBT students or those questioning their sexuality to find like-minded people and community.

Thank you.
I am really saddened by some of the homophobic comments in this article. The very first comment on this article states that "heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc." The thing is, heterosexual people do already have all those things - it's called the every day world! Heterosexuality is everywhere. A straight person can turn on the TV, open a magazine or just take a quick look around them in day to day life, and they are guaranteed to see their sexuality represented. For people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or any other of the multitude of different sexualities and gender identities out there, this is not the case. We have to fight every day to have our voices heard, to be seen as equal members of society. I am shocked by some of the comments which seem to suggest we should just keep quiet about our sexuality so as not to be judged. We should not have to keep quiet! Coming out as LGBT does not mean that we are "preoccupied" with our sexuality or with sex. Homophobia is, sadly, alive and well - and we need to challenge it! And things like this are a great step forward in a fight which is very much still ongoing - the fight for the most basic of rights, to be treated equally to everybody else without fear of persecution, judgement or harrassment. Not so long ago, I was heading off to begin my course at the university of Winchester, having no idea how people would respond if I came out as bisexual, and whether the university would be a friendly and accepting environment. I wish something like this had existed then! What a fantastic resource for new students who might be nervous about coming out, perhaps doing so for the first time in their lives. I think what Professor Anderson is doing here is fantastic! Of course it's completely optional for people to put their names on the list, and I think it's a great way for LGBT students or those questioning their sexuality to find like-minded people and community. Thank you. WriterJess
  • Score: 0

5:30pm Tue 21 Jun 11

Bfraser says...

ameliaS wrote:
I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?
Saying heterosexuals don't need their own bars, I can only assume you frequently pop along to bars that identify as 'LGBT' since it doesn't make a difference to you?

Maybe for you sitting in your average bar you feel right at home, but I can tell you for certain individuals these places can feel incredibly lonely. Sexuality isn't something obvious, and when you look around a room and feel like you're the only LGBT person there you can feel like an outisder. THIS is the reason we have specific LGBT friendly bars and establishments. It's not to separate us, it's to give us a place where we can feel like we fit in, or maybe just make friends, and gain the confidence to feel accepted no matter where we are.

As for this list, during school I would have loved to have known about a gay teacher I could have spoken to, someone who has been through more than any friends I had, and could answer questions I had about growing up. This list will allow members of staff to become that person, providing specific support. You can talk to a heterosexual teacher about this, but it's not the same.

Finally, there are people who are so scared of coming out they don't even feel safe coming to LGBT society meetings at university, and for those people, if they know someone who has put themselves as openly 'out' on a list such as this, they could talk to that person in private, in a one-to-one setting, an issue which HAS occured at my university multiple times.

Finally, if you're so 'accepting' of LGBT people, then what should it matter to you if some of them declare it on a university list? After all, you should judge them on the contribution they make to society etc
[quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: I really don't want to know what people do in private. I have no desire to add my name to a list of heterosexuals. One's sexuality is surely a private matter. Heterosexuals don't need their own bars, places of entertainment, magazines etc. and people should be judged on the contribution they make to society, the way they behave towards others etc. This preoccupation with sexuality in certain quarters is, to my mind, unnecessary and unhealthy. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business. Why do homosexuals feel the need to wear a label? Aren't they people like the rest of us? Don't they want to be treated the same as everyone else?[/p][/quote]Saying heterosexuals don't need their own bars, I can only assume you frequently pop along to bars that identify as 'LGBT' since it doesn't make a difference to you? Maybe for you sitting in your average bar you feel right at home, but I can tell you for certain individuals these places can feel incredibly lonely. Sexuality isn't something obvious, and when you look around a room and feel like you're the only LGBT person there you can feel like an outisder. THIS is the reason we have specific LGBT friendly bars and establishments. It's not to separate us, it's to give us a place where we can feel like we fit in, or maybe just make friends, and gain the confidence to feel accepted no matter where we are. As for this list, during school I would have loved to have known about a gay teacher I could have spoken to, someone who has been through more than any friends I had, and could answer questions I had about growing up. This list will allow members of staff to become that person, providing specific support. You can talk to a heterosexual teacher about this, but it's not the same. Finally, there are people who are so scared of coming out they don't even feel safe coming to LGBT society meetings at university, and for those people, if they know someone who has put themselves as openly 'out' on a list such as this, they could talk to that person in private, in a one-to-one setting, an issue which HAS occured at my university multiple times. Finally, if you're so 'accepting' of LGBT people, then what should it matter to you if some of them declare it on a university list? After all, you should judge them on the contribution they make to society etc Bfraser
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Tue 21 Jun 11

Davitt Moroney says...

Congratulations, Winchester, and welcome to the club! We have long had such an "Out List" at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). Its main purpose here is to support the LGBT community. This community includes straight people on our campus who are not afraid to be on the "Out List", as "allies". (Friends of LGBT people also sometimes need to come out in their own way.) See http://lavendercal.b
erkeley.edu/
Maybe you're already saying "oh, it's different in California", but homophobia exists everywhere. LGBT university students are driven to commit suicide here as well, and many people everywhere believe their religion gives them the right to discriminate against LGBT people.
Our Berkeley "Out List" has hundreds of students and university staff on it, and about 40 faculty. Troubled students, if they need help and feel alone, come to those of us who are prepared to be public faces for the LGBT community here. We can often help them find the support they need.
We also have here an active "Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the LGBT Community on campus" (and we meet with the Chancellor once a year). See http://geneq.berkele
y.edu/cac
One other function of an "Out List" is that prospective students find it on the web and therefore know that the campus is LGBT-friendly. Many LGBT students deliberately choose to study at a university where they can feel safe. They avoid universities whose silence on LGBT issues suggests there is an implicitly homophobic environment that will not, for them, be conducive to good learning.
I am surprised by the number of people who are reacting to this issue as if it is simply a way of being public about one's sexuality. That's missing the larger point. It's you who are homing in on the sexuality. We're concentrating on trying to counter the effects on campus of generalized homophobia. Having such an "Out List" is a way of supporting all members of our community, and some of them need all the support they can get. It also helps promote a public image of the campus as a place of inclusion, a university that celebrates diversity as a source of intellectual richness and innovation.
Best wishes for your new venture at Winchester.
Davitt Moroney
(Professor, UC Berkeley)
Congratulations, Winchester, and welcome to the club! We have long had such an "Out List" at the University of California, Berkeley (USA). Its main purpose here is to support the LGBT community. This community includes straight people on our campus who are not afraid to be on the "Out List", as "allies". (Friends of LGBT people also sometimes need to come out in their own way.) See http://lavendercal.b erkeley.edu/ Maybe you're already saying "oh, it's different in California", but homophobia exists everywhere. LGBT university students are driven to commit suicide here as well, and many people everywhere believe their religion gives them the right to discriminate against LGBT people. Our Berkeley "Out List" has hundreds of students and university staff on it, and about 40 faculty. Troubled students, if they need help and feel alone, come to those of us who are prepared to be public faces for the LGBT community here. We can often help them find the support they need. We also have here an active "Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the LGBT Community on campus" (and we meet with the Chancellor once a year). See http://geneq.berkele y.edu/cac One other function of an "Out List" is that prospective students find it on the web and therefore know that the campus is LGBT-friendly. Many LGBT students deliberately choose to study at a university where they can feel safe. They avoid universities whose silence on LGBT issues suggests there is an implicitly homophobic environment that will not, for them, be conducive to good learning. I am surprised by the number of people who are reacting to this issue as if it is simply a way of being public about one's sexuality. That's missing the larger point. It's you who are homing in on the sexuality. We're concentrating on trying to counter the effects on campus of generalized homophobia. Having such an "Out List" is a way of supporting all members of our community, and some of them need all the support they can get. It also helps promote a public image of the campus as a place of inclusion, a university that celebrates diversity as a source of intellectual richness and innovation. Best wishes for your new venture at Winchester. Davitt Moroney (Professor, UC Berkeley) Davitt Moroney
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Tue 21 Jun 11

chrisdemeanour says...

I'd be very worried if a tutor of a child of mine was so obsessed with such things or is homosexuality part of a proffessor's remit now? leave in your bedroom, I think I'll go and vomit now.
I'd be very worried if a tutor of a child of mine was so obsessed with such things or is homosexuality part of a proffessor's remit now? leave in your bedroom, I think I'll go and vomit now. chrisdemeanour
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Sat 25 Jun 11

AspieMum says...

If it is about declaring support for the LGBT community then it would not include all people who support them being protected from abuse- what about the hetrosexuals who would support them but could not put down that they are gay because they are not? Also publising such a list would put them at risk of attck from those who do want to attack members of that community and the nastier gays that exist (after all the sexually predetary folk out there come in all sexual varieties and young adults still need some level of protection- I know when I started uni I was very much still a teenager rather than a mature adult)
If it is about declaring support for the LGBT community then it would not include all people who support them being protected from abuse- what about the hetrosexuals who would support them but could not put down that they are gay because they are not? Also publising such a list would put them at risk of attck from those who do want to attack members of that community and the nastier gays that exist (after all the sexually predetary folk out there come in all sexual varieties and young adults still need some level of protection- I know when I started uni I was very much still a teenager rather than a mature adult) AspieMum
  • Score: 0

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