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The King's logo on a pride bus, with a giant rainbow flag flying above ;

King's celebrates Pride

Although we can’t celebrate Pride together in person this year, at King's we’re continuing to celebrate each other and our LGBTQ+ community here and around the world. Find out more about the amazing research, people and events that make up our King’s.

Marking Pride month

Typically, June is filled with an array of events and celebrations recognising the influence LGBTQ+ people have had on history and raising awareness of the struggles they still face. Although the ongoing COVID pandemic has prevented many of these from happening in person, many of these important discussions and celebrations have continued online. 

Proudly King's, our LGBTQ+ staff network, have recently launched their podcast, Proudly Pod, discussing vital issues in LGBTQ+ culture. The podcast is available on Spotify, so keep an eye out for new episodes! They currently have a buddy system linking up members of the King's community to meet one another and chat informally, supporting each other during lockdown.

Proudly King's are also pioneering a Virtual Pride event for King's staff, students and alumni, featuring special guests including Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK contestant, Vinegar Strokes, and ‘Queer’s Got Talent’ winner Jason the Smoking Area Boi.

 

Pride

Monday 1 June marked the beginning of Pride Month – a month dedicated to communities coming together in celebration, protest, unity and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ Community. June was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots and demonstrations that followed a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, on June 28, 1969.

Research

The 'Pink' Vote

Hopefully, the results of this study will encourage academic survey designers to stop ignoring the role of sexuality when they want to test political behaviour in the future.– Stuart Turnbull-Dugarte, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Economy

Research by King’s Department of Political Economy found that voters’ sexuality plays a large role in influencing the parties that individuals vote for in Western Europe. Much in line with popular assumptions, that gay and lesbian voters are far more likely to vote for parties on the left.

In what is believed to be the first large cross-national study, the results show that lesbian and gay individuals are around 7% more likely to support left-of-centre parties in comparison to their straight peers.

 

A person hiding their face behind the rainbow flag

Stuart Turnbull-Dugarte said: 'Whilst people have long assumed that gay voters tend to vote for the left, we actually have had very little data to back this up.'

'One of the main problems is that the big national election studies that take place in most of the countries in Europe such as the British Election Study don’t ask voters about their sexual orientation, so we are starved of information on gay voters. Hopefully, the results of this study will encourage academic survey designers to stop ignoring the role of sexuality when they want to test political behaviour in the future.'

Early research into LGBTQ midwifery care

In May, Teresa Arias and Dr Shawn Walker discussed their early stage research into LGBTQ+ midwifery care, exploring how nurses and midwives can provide safe and sensitive care.

Teresa said: ‘Dr Shawn Walker and I became interested in LGBTQ midwifery care through a series of personal and professional experiences. Our role as educators prompted us to think about how we supported students to offer safe, personalised and sensitive perinatal care to the LGBTQ+ community.’

‘We realised that we probably did not know what this would “look like” as there is a sparsity in the literature on pre-registration and, indeed, any health professional education on optimal LGBTQ+ midwifery care.’

Changing social attitudes

Recent research conducted by The Policy Institute explored the changing attitudes towards homosexuality in the UK. Polling by Ipsos MORI from 1989 and 2019, analysed by King’s, found that in 1989, 40% of Brits thought homosexual relationships between consenting adults were morally wrong, now down to just 13%.

In another positive finding, 30 years ago, 52% agreed that: “homosexuals should be treated just like other people”, which has risen up to 82% today, based on an online survey of adults aged 16-75. 23% strongly agreed with this statement back then, compared with 64% now.

Community

Queer@King's

The Queer@King’s research group conducts pioneering research in the areas of gender, sexuality and society, and contributes to the wide variety of teaching modules on gender and sexuality across King’s. The Centre is directed by Dr Sebastian Matzner, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature, and is made up of a community of students and scholars who ally and advocate queer activism, art and community work.

In October 2019, ParaPride became the first ever activist-in-residence at Queer@King’s, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Institute. ParaPride is the first official charity focusing on the connection between the disabled and LGBT+ communities – they believe everyone is entitled to engage with the LGBT+ community and in doing so, they actively champion inclusive activities which are accessible and open to everyone. 

parapride-lgbt-history-month-stratford-circus

Earlier this year, Queer@King’s and ParaPride launched the first fully accessible Winter Carnival in partnership with the Stratford Arts Centre, marking LGBT+ History month. The Carnival was the biggest showcase of disabled queer talent to ever take place in the UK, bringing together a host of international superstars and beginners alike who took to the stage.

Through the residency, ParaPride will be able to connect with King's students, researchers and make use of King's world-class facilities to help create a broader impact in addressing the needs for more inclusive LGBTQ+ spaces.

Society

LGBTQ+ rights 

Human Rights lawyer Professor Robert Wintemute within The Dickson Poon School of Law has been involved in many landmark cases across the globe. In 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which partly decriminalised homosexuality in the UK, he assessed the long road to LGBTQ+ equality in law.  

Statistics correct at time of filming

Participate

Find resources to participate as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or as an ally:

  • Proudly King’s is King’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network, who work to make King's a better place for LGBTQ+ people.
  • KCL LGBTQ student network is a representative student community that aims to combat oppression, discrimination, and inequality faced by students on a local and national level. They work both within the student union and the university to promote acceptance, raise awareness, facilitate events and consult on issues.
  • LGBT Switchboard and Helpline can be contacted for any reason, such as confidential support or just for someone to talk to when self-isolating.
  • Albert Kennedy Trust supports LGBTQ people aged 16-25 who are homeless or living in a hostile environment.
  • Mind Out is an LGBT+ specific mental health service with an online messaging service for urgent support, as well as an open email for any advice or information.
  • My Whole Self campaign being led by Mental Health First Aid to support people in bringing their whole selves to work, they are now sharing support and information for those working from home.
  • The Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations is a searchable directory and works to strengthen and support LGBT+ groups, organisations and projects so they can deliver direct services and campaign for individual rights.
  • The Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG) website lists organisations supporting LGBTIQ+ people from different religious and faith groups.
  • Stonewall works to empower individuals, transform institutions, change hearts and minds and change and protect laws. They have a large number of resources and support materials on a range of issues.

Find out more about King’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

In this story

Stuart Turnbull Dugarte

Stuart Turnbull Dugarte

PhD Candidate

Teresa Arias

Teresa Arias

Lecturer in Midwifery Education

Shawn  Walker

Shawn Walker

Lecturer in Midwifery

Sebastian Matzner

Sebastian Matzner

Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature. Director of Queer@King's.

Robert  Wintemute

Robert Wintemute

Professor of Human Rights Law


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