In a bid to recognise and respect differences in human’s inclinations, Leiden University, Netherlands, has announced the creation of a platform for the sexually queer, popularised as LGBT+.
The LGBT+ Network was officially launched on the 19th September 2018 by the Vice-Rector of the university, Hester Bijl, and subsequently announced in her October newsletter.
In the article published on 16 October 2018 on the school’s website entitled ‘LGBT+ Network: a platform for the like-minded’, it reads ‘the LGBT+ Network offers a platform for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer staff and students at Leiden University.”
The Network is a place where like-minded individuals can meet, exchange experiences and support one another’.
Furthermore, ‘the aim of the network is to broaden the visibility of the LGBT+ community within the University and to promote greater inclusion in the working environment and in the lecture halls as well as in University policies,” the statement reads.
In order to achieve this, an inventory list of wishes and needs of LGBT students and staff will be compiled by drivers of the network in order to advise the Diversity Office and Executive Board of the university.
Speaking on the importance of respecting differences, Jojanneke van der Toorn, a professor by special appointment in LGBT Workplace Inclusion, said ‘it’s much better for everyone when people recognise differences on the work floor.”
Although she noted that it is not an easy task to create a truly inclusive working environment because the LGBTs ‘are socialised in line with hetero norms’. However, ‘everybody at the University should feel that they belong and that they can be themselves.”
Currently, sexual relationship between people of the same sex, participation in gay clubs, associations or societies or being in support of these societies is criminalised in Nigeria with a possible jail term of 10-14years. The law was signed by President Jonathan under the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014.
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