My name is Charlie Tennant, and I work at the University as a Faculty
Partners and Systems Manager in the Faculty of Business, where I’ve been
employed for 5 years now. I lead the Faculty’s Standards and Partnerships
Office which consists of 12 staff and is responsible for the
administration supporting Examinations, External Examiners, Extenuating
Circumstances, International Collaborative Partners (otherwise known as
TNE/ Transnational Education), Assessment Misconduct cases and Moodle
amongst other things.
I’m proud to be LGBTQ+ as it’s part of who I am - just like my heritage,
my upbringing, and my personality. It’s what makes me feel like me and is
something that can never be taken away. Being LGBTQ+ to me means being
yourself, being unashamed of who you are and sharing a feeling of unity
with those who are proud of who they are, and those who want you to be
proud of who you are. It means being part of a community that doesn’t
just provide a safe space for those whom have faced barriers because of
their gender and/or sexuality, but a community that inspires and
celebrates those people too.
Being a part of both the LGBTQ+ community and University of Greenwich
community goes hand in hand. We are all different, but we all look beyond
that and find what’s most important; the things that bring us together
such as our shared goals and open minds to diverse views and opinions
which stem from our initial differences.
I have faced barriers, but barriers constructed by myself about
coming out as bisexual (I came out in January 2018), only to realise that
those around me, from colleagues, including those in more senior
positions than myself, to friends, are more supportive in me being open
about who I am than I had previously thought. Those in my immediate team
being supportive and showing it unashamedly made it and still to this day
makes it a lot easier.
On top of this, the University has an LGBTQ+ Staff Network that
has done amazing work with regards to creating a great community for
LGBTQ+ Staff and those in support to be part of, but unfortunately I
wasn’t yet out or at a point where I felt comfortable with my own
sexuality when previous events and meets were held. It would be great to
see more events held by the network.
In the wider world the LGBTQ+ community faces many challenges, and I
encounter some of these challenges when travelling overseas whether for
pleasure or for business. I find support on sites like
queerintheworld.com that offer an index of helpful information on what
LGBTQ+ travellers should expecting when visiting countries while also
spreading the message that being LGBTQ+ should not define where one
should travel. As well as this, I receive support from friends and
colleagues that are familiar with the culture of where it is I’d be
visiting. My hope is that one day the whole world will mirror communities
such as the University of Greenwich in accepting, supporting and
celebrating LGBTQ+ individuals.