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LGBTQA+ History Month

Lunch and Learn Series

Join us this LGBTQA+ History Month where, at Queen Mary University of London, we are proud to present a special Lunch and Learn series throughout February.

These talks will celebrate contributions and research from across the Queen Mary community that focus on LGBTQA+ history, issues and culture. The Lunch and Learn series is a great opportunity to listen, learn and get food for thought on making a change that benefits us all.

Talks are open to all Queen Mary staff and students. Please register your attendance in advance to ensure you receive the details to join.

Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers. We hope you enjoy the series!


Inclusion in Education: Reflections from an LGBTQA+ Academic

Speaker: Gabriel Cavalli, Reader in Science and Engineering Education
Deputy Executive Vice-Dean (Queen Mary Engineering School, NPU, China)
Director of the Centre for Academic Inclusion in Science and Engineering (CAISE)
(Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Date: Monday 13th February

Time: 12.00pm-1.00pm

Location: This event took place online, via MS Teams - Watch the recording


Join Gabriel Cavalli where he will discuss Inclusion in Education, the work of CAISE (The Centre for Academic Inclusion in Science & Engineering) and his own experiences as an LGBTQA+ academic.

Exploring and Understanding Asexual Identities and Desire through Language

Date: Thursday 16th February

Time: 12.00pm-1.00pm

Location: This event took place online, via MS Teams - Watch the recording

Speaker: Alex Prestage, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Queen Mary University of London

An Asexual Pride Flag comprised of four horizontal stripes; black, grey, white and purple


Have you ever wondered what the A in LGBTQA+ stands for?

Are you curious about how we think and talk about attraction and desire?

This Lunch and Learn will introduce asexuality and draw on academic research to understand this emergent identity and draw important lessons about attraction each of us can learn from the asexual community.

Whilst drawing on academic research techniques (linguistic ethnography), the content is designed to be accessible to all, regardless of identity, qualifications, discipline, or lack of.

This session will be run via MS Teams, with an opening key note followed by informal Q&A and discussion. Feel free to bring lunch and participate.

Taking a Torch to the Nasty Party: Theresa May, the Conservative Party, and LGBTQ+ Rights

Date: Monday 20th February 

Time: 12.00pm - 12.50pm 

Location: This event took place online, via MS Teams - Watch the recording

Speaker: Dr Richard Johnson, Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR)

Downing Street, UK. 3rd July 2019. British Prime Minister, Theresa May leaves No 10 Downing Street for Prime Ministers Questions, through an arch of flowers there to celebrate Pride in London. Credit: Thomas Bowles/Alamy Live News


This talk reflects on Theresa May’s complex record on LGBT rights. In her first years as an MP, May voted against the New Labour government’s LGBT equality legislation. Yet, as Chair of the Conservative Party in 2002, she chastised her colleagues for seeking to ‘make political capital out of demonising minorities’, infamously labelling the Conservatives ‘the Nasty Party’. Later, as prime minister, May described herself as an ‘ally’ who had ‘come a long way’ from those early votes. Drawing from the archives of the Tory Campaign for Homosexual Equality (TorCHE), this talk is based on a chapter for a forthcoming book, edited by Andrew Roe-Crines, called Statecraft: The Leadership of Theresa May.


Photograph of Richard Johnson

Dr Richard Johnson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR). He researches topics relating to inequality, elections, and political parties in the United States and United Kingdom. His British politics publications include chapters on the European policy of Neil Kinnock, the foreign policy of Jeremy Corbyn, the European Parliamentary Labour Party, and the UK constitution.


Pronouns Matter: What pronouns are, how to use them and why they matter

Speakers: Eleanor McDavis, EDI Manager (She/They); Darren Hunwicks (He/Him), EDI Officer; Adam Onus (They/Them), Postgraduate Research Student, School of Mathematical Sciences

Date: Tuesday 21st February

Time: 1.00pm-2.00pm

Location: This event took place online, via MS Teams - Watch the recording

Summary: During this Lunch and Learn we will discuss gender identity, what is a pronoun, why does using the correct pronoun matter and how members of the Queen Mary community can be good allies and show support for gender diverse staff and students. 


Eleanor McDavis is EDI Manager for the dual portfolio of LGBTQA+ Inclusion and Disability Inclusion at Queen Mary.

Darren Hunwicks is EDI Officer for the dual portfolio of LGBTQA+ Inclusion and Disability Inclusion at Queen Mary.

Adam (Adi) Onus is a 2nd year PhD student in the School of Mathematical Sciences. Adam is actively involved in many of the School's EDI activities, including as a member of the LGBTQA+ subgroup, and they are passionate about promoting the representation and inclusion of the queer community (and other underrepresented groups) in academia.

LGBTQA+ in Nature seminar (an early evening event)

Speaker: Professor Tony Michael, Dean for Education, Professor in Reproductive Biology and Deputy Vice-Principal for Education (Strategic Projects), Faculty of Science & Engineering, School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Date: Tuesday 21st February

Time: 5.00pm-6.30pm (including time for questions and discussion)

Location: Fogg Lecture Theatre (Open Door attendance in person) or online via MS Teams. This event has now taken place.


Throughout the history of the LGBTQA+ community, a common attack has been that "it's not natural" to be lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, asexual or other.

This informal seminar will debunk the myth of "unnatural" sexuality by looking at a wide range of examples of LGBTQA+ behaviour taken from the natural world (featuring examples you probably have heard of and a whole load of examples that you probably haven't yet - from bison to bonobos, from giraffes to gynandromorphs).

Tony Michael (Faculty of Science & Engineering, School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences) has designed an accessible, thought-provoking seminar which requires no prior knowledge of biology.

There will also be time for questions and a discussion following the seminar.

LGBTQA+ Inclusion in Practice at the School of Mathematical Sciences

Speakers: Dr Claudia Garetto, Reader in Mathematics, EDI Lead, School of Mathematical Sciences; Kieran Hayde, Marketing & Communications Officer, School of Mathematical Sciences; Adam Onus, Postgraduate Research Student, School of Mathematics

Date: *DATE CHANGE* Tuesday 28th February

Time: *TIME CHANGE* 1.00pm-2.00pm

Location: This was a hybrid event, via MS Teams and in-person - Watch the recording


Photograph of the School of Mathematical Sciences building on Mile End Campus, photographed from the perspective of Mile End Road

In this Lunch and Learn session, our friends from the School of Mathematical Sciences (SMS) will share what they have learned over the past 12 months by taking a more strategic, hands-on approach to LGBTQA+ inclusion.

The session will provide an overview of their activities and a framework that other Schools and Institutes can use to improve and increase the provision of services, activities and resources for their LGBTQA+ communities.

We will hear from academic and professional services staff and a research student who have been the driving force behind many of these activities. The team from SMS will also share the impact of certain activities and decisions on their lived experiences as members of the LGBTQA+ community and allies at Queen Mary. 


Kieran Hayde is the Marketing and Communications Officer for SMS and is actively involved with the School’s EDI activities. Kieran is co-chair of the School’s LGBTQA+ subgroup and is committed to queering mathematics at Queen Mary and beyond.

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