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Support for LGBTQIA+ students at Activate Learning

At Activate Learning, we’re proud to be a diverse community 

16 June 2020

This month we are celebrating Pride, which marks every year the contribution of the LGBTQIA+ community to the world – and indeed to Activate Learning.

You may have noticed our logo has been given a small makeover to reflect the rainbow colours!

We take pride in the diversity and inclusivity of our student, staff and local communities and we strive to be even better.

Activate Learning offer dedicated individual and group support for LGBTQIA+ students at our colleges. We work closely with community networks and clubs to offer as extensive support as possible.

We facilitate LGBTQIA+ clubs and groups at each of our campuses and will continue to expand these groups as of September 2020.

Regardless of age, Student Support can support you with referrals and engagement to other services in the community.

At each of our college campuses we have an LGBTQIA+ society. Anyone that identifies in the LGBTQIA+ community or as an ally is welcome to come along. The society meets to offer support, fundraise for charities and events, and organise events for the community in college. The society is completely student-led so we need your input! If you are interested in coming along to a meeting or joining the society then drop an email to or speak to your local Student Support team on campus. 

Throughout the academic year, the Student Support team celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with a range of external and internal events.

We continue to train and upskill our Student Support staff to better support the diverse students at our colleges.

Regardless of age, Student Support can support you with referrals and engagement to other services which can offer advice and guidance in the community.

Who can I speak to outside of college?

Activate Learning work alongside numerous charities in the UK that support our LGBTQIA+ students. These include:

  • Me2
  • Support U
  • Stonewall UK
  • Topaz

What can I do to better understand the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community?

If you’re looking to better understand the LGBTQIA+ community, there’s plenty of free resources to learn more including podcasts, films, TV shows and influencers and pioneers. You could also attend a Pride celebration in your local area or online.

What podcasts can I listen to?

  • A Gay and a Non-Gay – the UK’s #1 LGBTQ podcast, touching on serious and funny topics and issues.
  • Queery with Cameron Esposito - explores the LGBTQIA+ experience with self-identifying guests.
  • Nancy - Kathy TU and Tobin Low explore LGBTQIA+ stories, culture and experience
  • The Log Books - explores previous calls received by LGBTQ charity, Switchboard, learning about queer history and the different issues that have been faced throughout time.

What films and TV shows can I watch?

  • Love Simon
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Feel Good (E4)
  • Paris is Burning
  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson 
  • RuPaul’s Drag race 
  • Pose 
  • Schitt's Creek 
  • Queer Eye 
  • Grace and Frankie 

Influencers and pioneers of the LGBTQIA+ community 

Marsha P. Johnson 

Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American transgender activist and pioneer central to the liberation of gay rights in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Johnson along with others led a series of uprisings in protest of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in 1969.  

Learn more about Marsha P. Johnson.  

Sylvia Rivera 

Sylvia Rivera was a Puerto Rican American transgender activist. Like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia was one of the inciters of the monumental Stonewall Riots in America and was a founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and later the Gay Activists Alliance. 

Learn more about Sylvia Rivera.  

Laverne Cox 

Laverne Cox was the first openly transgender person to receive a primetime Emmy nomination, for her role in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” the first African-American transgender woman to produce and star in her own TV show “TRANSform Me” and the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of TIME Magazine. 

Learn more about Laverne Cox. 

Sir Ian Mckellen 

Mckellen is an openly gay British actor and LGBTQIA+ activist. He publicly announced that he was a gay man for the first time on BBC Radio back in 1988. McKellen co-founded Stonewall in 1989, an LGBT rights lobbying group in the United Kingdom named after the 1969 Stonewall riots.  

Learn more about Sir Ian Mckellen. 

Princess Diana 

In April 1987, Princess Diana was responsible for opening Britain’s first-ever AIDS ward at London Middlesex Hospital, which provided support exclusively to those living with the disease.  

Learn more about Princess Diana.