Archive for LGBTQ+ STEM Day 2021

On the Repeal of Section 28..

Posted in History, LGBT, Politics with tags , , , on November 18, 2021 by telescoper

I was reminded today is the 18th anniversary of the Repeal in England & Wales (on 18th November 2003) of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which contained the following:

I remember very well the numerous demonstrations and other protests I went on as part of the campaign against the clause that became Section 28 way back in 1988. Indeed, these were the first large political demonstrations in which I ever took part. But that repugnant and obviously discriminatory piece of legislation passed into law anyway. Students and younger colleagues  probably don’t have any idea how much pain and anger the introduction of this piece of legislation caused at the time, but at least it also had the effect of galvanising  many groups and individuals into action. The fightback eventually succeeded; Section 28 was repealed in Scotland in 2000 and in England & Wales in 2003.

I know the 33 years that have elapsed since the introduction of Section 28  is a long time, but it’s still amazing to me that attitudes have changed so much that now we have same-sex marriage. I would never have predicted that if someone had asked me thirty years ago!

I think there’s an important lesson in the story of Section 28, which is that rights won can easily be lost again. There are plenty of people who would not hesitate to bring back similar laws if they thought they could get away with them.  They are trying to do so now with a sustained assault on the rights of transgender people. That’s why it is important for LGBTQ+ people not only to stand up for their rights, but to campaign for a more open, inclusive and discrimination-free environment for everyone, everywhere, including in the workplace. That’s one of the reasons why today’s LGBTQ+ STEM Day is so important.

LGBTQ+ STEM DAY 2021! (#LGBTSTEMDay)

Posted in Biographical, LGBT with tags , on November 18, 2021 by telescoper

So here we are once again on LGBTQ+ STEM Day! Last year on this day I gave a talk via Zoom and remember hoping that the following year we could have an in-person event in Maynooth but alas that was not to be. Nevertheless I can at least use the medium of this blog to wish all LGBTQ+ persons working in STEM subjects around the globe a very enjoyable day. You can find out about events near you by checking here, looking for the hashtag #LGBTQSTEMDay on social media or by following the twitter account: