Sexual and Romantic Orientation


The law prevents discrimination on the grounds of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation. It also protects against discrimination due to association with someone of a particular sexual orientation.

Civil Partnership is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act became law in 2013.

The University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Framework 2018-21 and accompanying objectives shows how we intend to tackle homophobia, Biphobia & Erasure, and promote equality for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, Asexual, etc.

We monitor sexual orientation and report annually on progress in our Diversity Annual Report.

The University is now a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For information on our policy regarding transgender and non-binary individuals visit our section on Transgender and non-binary.


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Latest News

February is LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Plus)History Month, find out more at LGBT History Month.

Keep your eye out on our LGBT+ Network this academic year as they run several LGBT+ events. E.g. – Asexual awareness week, Bisexual Awareness week, Transgender week of Remembrance, etc.

Stoke Pride takes place annually each summer in Hanley park, a five-minute walk from College Road Campus. Our LGBT+ Network arranges a meet up for those who wish to attend.

National Student Pride takes place each year at the beginning of March.

University Contacts


Our LGBT+ Staff Network provides support for all LGBT+ staff, as well as influencing policy and promoting equality in education.  The current joint chairs are Stephen Griffiths and Pete Simcock.

The University is a Stonewall Champion and took part in their Equality Index for the first time in 2014. We received good feedback and have since been dedicated to getting involved each year.


The Students' Union supports our LGBT+ Network. The LGBT+ Network influences productively proactive change within university policy. An Example being our continued involvement with the rainbow laces campaign (stonewall) which aims to tackle homophobia and biphobia in sports. 
If you define yourself as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, part of the +, or if you are experiencing doubts or problems regarding your orientation and or gender identity you can speak to someone in the LGBT+ Network. They can be contacted through the Students' Union, or through email: 

They also run regular socials every week and organise events throughout the year. Check out the Student’s Union Website for upcoming events.

You can also talk to the Students' Union Advice Service or the University Counselling Service, based in the Student Enabling Centre, about anything to do with orientation and or gender.
If you experience or witness homophobic, Biphobic/erasure, or any form of LGBT+ harassment or bullying you can talk and as well as report it to your Tutor, Student Guidance Advisor or the Students' Union.


The following resources provide information and guidance about sexual orientation:

The City Central Library, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent has a collection of fiction and non-fiction books which focus on LGBT+ culture and history.

External Contacts



  • Stonewall - National campaigning and support group for LGB
  • Young Stonewall for under 21's

  • The Lesbian and Gay Foundation - A charity fighting for and supporting the LGB community

  • LGBT Consortium - consortium of voluntary and community organisations

  • FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) - supporting parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual daughters and sons

  • Imaan LGBTQI - Muslim support group

  • BiMedia - Bisexual news and opinion

  • BiUK - the UK national organisation for bisexual research and activism

  • CACH - Chase Against Crimes of Hate

  • Victim Support - national body giving free and confidential help to victims of crime

  • NUS LGBT+ (National Union of Students) – Dedicated to proactively fighting for LGBT+ rights, ensuring that all identities are respected, challenging LGBT+ racism, ableism, sexism, etc.

Our History of LGBT+ History Month

LGBT History Month takes place in February each year, and celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. We take this time to reflect on both the positive steps taken, as well as using this as another opportunity to challenge intolerance and injustices suffered by the LGBT+ community Globally.

In February 2015 the LGBT+ Staff Network hosted an exhibition on LGBT history in the Science Centre. This received great support and reviews and the launch was attended by members of the Student LGBT+ Network.

In February 2014, award-winning comedian, respected journalist, broadcaster and writer Simon Fanshawe OBE delivered a thought-provoking, inspiring and highly entertaining talk on 10th February in the Film Theatre. Known as the 'Provocateur with a Purpose' - he drew on his experience as a champion of diversity and founder member of Stonewall to explain the power of difference, identity perspectives in super-diverse Britain and why Stonewall is getting it wrong. Simon began his broadcasting career by winning top comedy award, The Perrier, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. More recently, he was awarded the OBE in 2013 for services to higher education and received an honorary doctorate for services to equality and social justice. The event was attended by around 100 staff, students and members of the local community. The event also saw the launch of the LGBT Staff Network.

In February 2013 Rico Paris from Gender Advisory Bureau came to talk about gender reassignment and transgender, sharing his personal experiences. The evening was supported by members of the Students' Union LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans) Society. During 2013 we were a corporate sponsor of the Gender Advisory Bureau whose aim is to improve the accessibility of mainstream services for trans people through trans equality training. There was also a staff quiz for LGBT History Month, which was won by Nicky Adams and Tommy Hill.

2011 highlighted research by Dr Jamie Cleland and Professor Ellis Cashmore and asked "Gay footballers: welcome or unwanted?" The evening event held in the Ashley Building was hosted by Mike Wolfe, the first elected mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, and attended by students, staff and members of the local community. 


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