LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other sexual orientations and gender identities)

  • Information about LGBT+ Role Models and contacts
  • Careers Equality Advice
  • Students’ Union liberation campaigns
  • What to do in case of harassment or bullying

LGBT+ Role Models

USW LGBT+ Role Models are volunteers who are passionate about promoting LGBT+ equality within the University and committed to being visible role models, conveying the important message that people can be themselves at the University and can be accepted without exception.

The LGBT+ Role Models are points of contact for students (or staff) who are encountering an LGBT+ issue they would like to talk through with an LGBT+ person. They also provide ideas, support and advice on the development of LGBT+ equality to the university.

Erich Hou

Erich Hou Email Erich

I have worked in Taipei, New York, Hong Kong and the UK in business and law. After returning to academia, I now teach law at University of South Wales specialising in human rights, intellectual property and consumer protection. I have been nominated for the Best Lecturer in 2016 & 2017.

I joined Spectrum, the LGBT+ Staff Network in USW. With us all being either gay, lesbian, bi, trans*, queer, straight, from different ethnic backgrounds, religious or nonreligious, we are simply a small group of like-minded employees in the USW.

Spectrum held a workshop in May 2017 to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (‘IDAHOT’) which commemorates the removal of homosexuality from the World Health Organisation International Classification of Diseases in 1990. During this workshop, an alumnus shared his personal story about parental rejection due to his sexuality. It shook us to the core that rejection and homelessness among youth sexual minorities is still a pressing issue. It confirms my belief that there is still more to be done.

I am still not 100% comfortable being any sort of role model. That said, I feel a duty to do the best I can for those who might need a little unofficial support. Our effort may be limited, but ’it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.’ If you feel the same, you are very welcomed to talk to us.

Rhiannon Kemp

Rhiannon Kemp Email Rhiannon

I have been an out and proud lesbian since I was 17 (I’m 35 now), but my identity has changed in the last year, and it is a journey I am still on.

I was quite politically active when I was younger. As society became more comfortable with people of different sexualities and the laws started equalising, my ‘angry marching’ reduced. I was personally lucky enough to be accepted and loved by everybody around me.

From about the beginning of 2016, though, I started listening to the way I feel about my body, something that had been simmering away for years. I wasn’t completely comfortable with the body I was in. I am exploring what it is to be genderqueer and non-binary. I can now see the different shades of ‘trans’ and I am a shade of trans. I am both male and female, or maybe neither. Anyone who looks at me wouldn’t consider me to be trans for one second. They would probably see a lesbian trying to be butch, which is something different!

Earlier this year, USW became a Stonewall Diversity Champion. Knowing that my workplace was making an effort to commit to being a more inclusive work environment, I kept up to date with how and what they were doing. When I saw that Stonewall were delivering LGBT Role Model Training, I applied to study the one-day course and it was welcomed by my Line Manager and HR, and this is what enabled me to become the first Stonewall LGBT Role Model for USW!

Ray Vincent

Ray Vincent Email Ray

I’m old enough to have grown up at a time when homosexuality was a totally hush-hush topic. Many people didn’t even know it existed, and any sexual intimacy between men was a criminal offence. When I was about 17, I came across the word ‘homosexual’ and looked it up in the dictionary. There was actually a word for the feelings I had!

I felt my calling was to be a minister. Any expression of my sexuality was totally incompatible with that calling. I was terrified of anyone suspecting that I was homosexual.
Strangely, I don’t remember ever believing it was a sin. In my heart I knew that the feelings I had were too beautiful and loving to be called sinful. I lived a completely celibate life, and it wasn’t until I was 30 that I dared to tell the truth to another human being.

My experience in USW has been very positive. The Chaplaincy is open and inclusive to all kinds of diversity including differences of gender and sexuality. We believe that inclusivity is at the heart of what Christianity means.

Gender and sexuality are varied and fluid. It is not issues we are talking about but people – our own friends and colleagues, the people we see around every day.

I don’t see being a role model as being an ideal example to follow. I am certainly no hero: while some people of my generation were putting their careers, their family life and even their safety at risk, I was keeping my head well below the parapet.

I see being a ‘role model’ as simply letting it be known that I am a Christian minister who happens to be gay and is quite happy about it. I hope that being a Role Model will at least make one small contribution towards a society in which people with all their differences are accepted and loved for who they are.

Careers and Employability Service

The Careers and Employability Service has a page about Equality in employment. This page includes a number of downloadable guides relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender job seekers. The guides have been prepared by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services.

There is also a dedicated LGBT useful links section on the Diversity Useful Links page of the Careers and Employability Service UniLife channel.

Students’ Union

The Students’ Union sometimes has liberation Campaign Officers campaigning for LGBTQ matters, depending on interest in the roles and elections.

Bullying and/or harrassment

There are two documents that cover this issue at the University:

  • University – Dignity at Study – policy on harassment, bullying, unfair treatment and victimisation.
  • Students’ Union – The Students’ Union also has a policy on LGBT related bullying and harassment, please contact the SU for details.