Meet Daniel: RGU's Equality Champion for Sexual Orientation

By Daniel Massie - 07 May 2024

RGU appoints Equality Champions for each of the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. Daniel Massie, Project Coordinator, is the Equality Champion for Sexual Orientation. Learn more about him and his work supporting our community at RGU.

Hi! I’m Daniel Massie – a Project Coordinator in Student Life and Staff Equality Champion for Sexual Orientation. I’ve been an Equality Champion for little over a year now, and it has been a rewarding and sometimes challenging experience. I say rewarding as it has introduced me to colleagues from across the RGU community that I’m sure I would not have connected with otherwise. It has spurred positive conversations, and the formation of our LGBTQAI+ Action Group. However, there have been challenges as it has been difficult to encourage participation in our Action Group and for colleagues to see the value in their voices being heard. One myth I’d like to bust is that the Action Group is just for people who may be gay, bisexual, trans and so on. In fact, our group is open to all staff - community members and allies alike.

I became an Equality Champion as it seemed liked a great opportunity to stand proudly as a gay man and work to enact positive change as well as being the face for colleagues with any issues to talk too. I know first-hand the issues that same-sex attracted people can face based on their sexuality, and this role felt like a perfect opportunity to take action against these prejudices. I also am very aware that being an Equality Champion for sexual orientation is not just about being present for gay or bi-sexual staff members, but also for straight colleagues and colleagues of any sexual orientation. It is important that we all feel that who we are will not result in any prejudice or discrimination, and it is fantastic that RGU are taking real steps to promote this ethos of visibility and solidarity for protected characteristics as outlined in the Equality Act.

Grampian Pride is coming up on Saturday 25 May, and RGU will be participating as we have done in previous years. If you would be interested in joining the RGU cohort, please ping me a message. It is great that RGU is visible at these events as it signals a commitment to diversity and inclusion. However, it is also important to recognise that many feel ambivalent or even conflicted regarding pride and what it means (and doesn’t mean) and what it achieves (and doesn’t achieve) in 2024. For some,  pride means a great deal, and for others it means nothing at all. These opposing opinions and personal experiences are key to active and fruitful conversations. Nevertheless, it can be what people make it, and the fact RGU is giving staff and students the choice to be present as a member of their community is a positive act.

If reading this you think you’d like to be involved in our Action Group you can join us on Teams or you can always drop me an email directly. I hope to see some of you at the Grampian Pride March later this month.

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