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Building inclusivity: Our LGBT+ staff network

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Insights      
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Our LGBT+ staff network was first launched in December 2009 as Durham’s first Diversity Network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender staff.

Renamed in 2019, the LGBT+ Network provides confidential support and information around LGBT+ matters. The network offers advice and feedback on LGBT+ equality and diversity issues within the University.

Tony Magaia (Equality Diversity and Inclusion) is one of the co-chairs of our LGBT+ Network, alongside Shane McHugh (St Aidan's College).  

Tony Magaia
Tony Magaia

We spoke to Tony to find out more.

Why was the network started?

The network was started mainly to create a safer space for LGBTQIA+ colleagues across the institution. Networks are a great medium to foster a community of likeminded individuals, with similar backgrounds to share their vast experience and come together and socialise in a space curated for them.

Our network also provides a collective voice for any LGBT+ issues or initiatives that we want to take forward to the University.

What are the aims of the network?

Our main aim is to provide a safe and supportive space for the LGBT+ community at Durham.

We also hope to create a space where colleagues can share best practice, engage with the wider community, and establish productive networks that could potentially support them in their professional and personal lives.

Who can join the network?

Any colleague or postgraduate student who identifies as LGBTQIA+ can join the network. Membership is entirely confidential, and we take steps to ensure your information is private and only accessible to the chairs of the network. If you are questioning your identity and are unsure, the network is also a space for you.

You can join the network by emailing

What’s happened at the network so far?

We have organised various events throughout the years, from panel discussions, keynote speeches to training opportunities. Our members have also used the network to publicise activities that they are running, gain support and feedback with various pieces of work, and provide a helpful and listening ear to anyone in need.

We have always been involved with Durham Pride as network members have been part of the organising committee since the establishment of the network.

In addition, we have been involved in consultations about various University initiatives, such as the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Survey, training needs analysis, Athena Swan, and many other ongoing activities across the University.

We are currently organising a regional LGBT+ Conference. So, stay tuned for more communications coming out soon.

Do you have regular meetings?

We hold various events throughout the year and are looking to schedule monthly meetings. We have previously organised regular coffee mornings at the start of a day to ease colleagues into the workday.

You can find out more about the LGBT+ Network on our intranet.



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