LGBT History Month, and other Feb adventures (2016)

Posted by Catherine Elms on March 13, 2016 Blog posts | | 2 comments

I had earmarked winter 2016 as a time for rest and gentle self-care, but so far it’s been non-stop since Jan 1st! While I haven’t achieved what I set out to, other awesome things have happened instead. It also has the added bonus of helping me avoid my annual winter depression – winter came and went in the blink of an eye!

Here’s all the stuff I’ve been up to:

1. Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

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My employer Swansea University was last month ranked #36 in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, a national charter that ranks all employers on how LGBT-friendly their workplace is. I co-wrote our application this year, and am delighted to have contributed to this awesome result. :) Read more at Times Higher EducationStonewall CymruHuffington Post, and Iamnews.co.uk .

I attended an awards ceremony in London’s financial district, and in the Senate in Cardiff, which was awesome and made me feel like a proper fancy pants. (I of course took advantage of the free wine and canapés) :) Read more about the work I do at Swansea Uni here.

2. LGBT History Month 2016

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I organised a range of events to celebrate LGBT History Month at the university, including information stalls, media campaigns, a film screening, and the Annual Equal Opportunities Lecture (full calendar of events here)! It was tough but very rewarding, and I’ve had lots of positive feedback on my good work. I also wrote a blog post on the LGBT+ Staff Network blog titled ‘On being an imperfect role model’, which you can read here.

3. ‘So Far From Whole’ Tour Diaries

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I published a video diary and a zine tour diary – find out more here.

5. Weirdo Zine Fest

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My friend Kirsty and I tabled at last month’s Weirdo Zine Fest, a small press event which aimed to provide a platform for zinesters from marginalised communities (e.g. queer, BAME). We sold our perzines, as well as copies of ‘Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter’.  The event was bustling and I had lots of great conversations with attendees, got to catch up with my zine pals Tukru and Sarah-Beth, and grabbed loads of awesome zines including a Bjork fanzine that I’m super excited to read. A great (but exhausting) day!

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6. Nerdvana

This year’s Nerdvana (AKA Carmarthen Comic Con) took place last month, where I recieved a “highly commended” award for my Daredevil cosplay! Read more in my Nerdvana review here.

7. Galentine’s Day

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What’s Galentine’s Day? Only the best day of the year! A time for ladies celebrating ladies, every February 13th – and this year I had my 4 best gal pals over for Thai food and a Harry Potter film marathon. <3

8. Yoga

I’ve restarted my yoga classes! They’re going well – I’m still about as flexible as a brick, but I’m enjoying them nonetheless, and I do feel myself sloooooooooowly improving (not sure I’ll ever manage the Pigeon Pose though). The yoga teacher is friendly and doesn’t take it too seriously, which helps me feel less embarrassed about not being as graceful as the other ladies in class.

9. Stress Control Class

As part of my 2016 goal to further develop my resilience and self-confidence, I’m attending a series of stress control classes which is teaching me useful techniques on coping with social anxiety and my automatic negative thoughts and self-talk.

10. Upcoming gigs:

Birkenstomp: Sunday 20th March, Cardiff

Punks 4 Mental Health Awareness: Saturday 20th May, Llanelli

 

 

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