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Our LGBTQIA+ community

We value all our staff and students equally, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and transgender status.

Coming to university is an exciting and liberating time, but you may be feeling anxious about your identity. You may not be ‘out’ to your peers, you may not be ready, or you may not have the support of your family. Perhaps you are ‘out and proud’! Either way, here at #TeamMDX we accept you just as you are.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all students, however you identify. We understand that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Assexual and Intersex (LGBTQIA+) students may face additional challenges during their time at University.

On this page you will find ways you can connect with like-minded peers, practical and administrative advice, and support available.

  • Legislation and policy information


The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 has strengthened and streamlined previous equalities legislation. Gender reassignment is one of the nine protected characteristics within the Act and is also included in the Public Sector Equality Duty. Importantly, the definition of gender reassignment within the Act gives protection from discrimination to a person who has proposed, started or completed a process to change their gender. As such, trans people do not have to undergo medical treatment to be protected by the Act. What matters is that a person has the intention to permanently live, or are already living, as their preferred gender.

The Act protects:

  • Trans people whether or not they undergo gender affirming medical treatment;
  • People who experience discrimination because they are perceived to be trans (whether or not they are);
  • People who are discriminated against because of their association with a trans person.

The Act, however, is insufficient in its terminology and framework and does not address the challenges faced by people who identify as non-binary. Middlesex University is committed to protecting trans and non-binary students beyond this legislation. The Equality Duty requires that the University has due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • Advance equality of opportunity; and foster good relations The Gender Recognition Act 2004

You can read about the word of the University in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion on these pages, as well as in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

In the past, a person’s legal gender could only be defined by their birth certificate and could not be changed. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows trans people to apply to have legal recognition of their acquired gender by acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). This certificate enables trans people to apply for secure documents (such as birth certificates and passports) to be reissued in accordance with their gender identity. Currently only naturalised UK citizens can apply for a GRC, and these are only available for trans men and trans women, as non-binary people currently have no legal recognition You should never ask to see a person’s gender recognition certificate. A trans person can change their name by deed poll and apply for a passport in their new name and change their work record to their affirmed gender, however, changing your passport (or other records) to be in your new name and gender doesn’t give any legal recognition to your change of gender. It’s merely a recognition by those record holders that you’ve adopted a new identity.

Find out apply applying for a gender recognition certificate.


Middlesex is proud to have created a Student Trans Policy for supporting trans students in collaboration with our students’ union.

This guidance should be read as part of the wider set of policies including the University’s Equality & Diversity Policy.

  • Practical support and information

Practical support and information


In 2023, we received a Gold Award from Stonewall – the world’s second-largest LGBTQ+ charity – for our commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people in the workplace in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 2023. We also ranked 58th (out of 268 institutions) in this Index and came 8th out of the 30 higher education institutions that took part this year.

  • Gender: often expressed in terms of masculinity and femininity, gender is largely culturally determined and is assumed from the sex assigned at birth.
  • Gender expression: how a person chooses to outwardly express their gender, within the context of societal expectations of gender. A person who does not conform to societal expectations of gender may not, however, identify as trans.
  • Gender identity: a person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.
  • Sex: assigned to a person on the basis of primary sex characteristics (genitalia) and reproductive functions. Sometimes the terms ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are interchanged to mean ‘male’ or ‘female’
  • Intersex: a term used to describe a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes or whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes male or female. Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary and some intersex people may identify as trans but not all intersex people are automatically trans.
  • Trans: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the gender they were assigned at birth. This can include people who identify as non-binary, but not all non-binary people identify as trans.
  • ‘Coming out’: When a person first tells someone/others about their orientation and/or gender identity.
  • Cisgender: A term for people whose gender identity is consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth.
  • Gender affirming medical treatment: treatment that a trans person may undergo to affirm their gender identity, for example hormone therapy or surgery. It is important to note that this is a very personal choice and not all trans people choose to undergo gender affirming medical treatment. This is also referred to as ‘gender reassignment’ in equality legislation.
  • Non-binary: umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely
  • Sexual orientation: a person’s sexual attraction to other people, or lack thereof. Along with romantic orientation, this forms a person’s orientation identity. The use of the term ‘orientation’ is as an umbrella term covering sexual and romantic orientations.
  • Questioning: the process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Guidance on making and requesting changes to documents or records

Trans and non-binary students can amend their details on their student record via UniHub. You can update your information via all UniHelp channels: face to face (UniHelp will need to see your student card); chat or telephone call where you would need to answer security questions for verification.

The changes we can make to records include a student’s gender identity, name and sexual orientation. The options currently available are listed below:

* Gender identity: Male, Female, Other (NB: Middlesex University has been asked to collect the following information by the Higher Education Statistical Agency to monitor equal opportunity issues in the Higher Education sector and support higher education providers in meeting their obligations under the Equality Act 2010. The information given will be held securely within the University database and only used for the above purpose)

* Name

* Sexual Orientation: Bisexual, Gay man, Gay woman/lesbian, Heterosexual, Other, Prefer not to say

In order to change your name on the University systems, your name must match your full legal name on a passport and requires an official change of name document (such as a passport or deed poll). A chosen first name can be entered if it is different from the legal name. After two years of living in your chosen gender, you can currently apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), should you choose to. Currently only naturalised UK citizens can apply for a GRC, and these are only available for trans men and trans women, as non-binary people currently have no legal recognition. When a GRC is issued, the individual would receive a new birth certificate and they would have the right to request that all references to their former name and gender are removed and replaced with their current name and gender. Middlesex University will support any request received and make the required change(s).

Middlesex University requires verification (e.g., passport, deed poll or statutory change of name) before considering the replacement or re-issue of a degree certificate for a graduate of the University. Further guidance on changing name can be found on Gendered Intelligence.

International students

If you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa, you may wish to use a preferred name and gender within the University but make no changes to documentation from your own country. If you wish to make a formal change, the Home Office advises that transgender people who hold Non-British passports in their former name and gender should align their passports and other identity documents to reflect their acquired name and gender so that they use one name for all purposes. If you are from a country where changes to name and gender in passports and official identity documents are not recognised, you could obtain a biometric residence permit in your acquired gender if you can demonstrate that you use your acquired name/gender for all purposes. International students on a Tier 4 visa can discuss their transition with a member of the International Students Advice Team. Further guidance for international students can be found from UKCISA.

Needing time off

If you need time off for medical appointments or surgery, you should try to schedule these outside of your university hours.

However, where this is not possible, you should give as much notice as possible to your academic tutors so that they can best support you to remain up to date. For example, by sending lecture slides and recommended reading to you ahead of time.

You should be mindful of the implications of any time off required around deadlines or assessments, and there may be scenarios where time off is not possible. You may find it useful to have a conversation with an adviser in the Progression and Support team if you are considering making changes to your study to accommodate any surgery.

If you are an international student, you should also speak with the International Student Advice Team for information around visas, immigration, and implications for Tier 4 visas.

For students with placements abroad

If you are on a course with a placement abroad, we would encourage you to be mindful of cultural factors. Unfortunately, in some areas of the world there is still open discrimination and harassment around people who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Before proceeding with any placement abroad, all students need to complete a risk assessment which will identify this as a potential concern. Discuss this with your Programme Leader as early as possible so that arrangements can be made and you are appropriately safeguarded.

Where possible, alternative arrangements will be offered to you.

Gender neutral facilities

Trans and non-binary people have the right to use facilities and changing rooms corresponding to their gender identity without fear of harassment. However, we recognise that some trans and non-binary people (and others) feel more comfortable using gender neutral toilets. Gender neutral toilets can be found on campus in the following buildings:

* Grove Building:

Grove A: GG22, G117 & G211 o Grove B: G270

* College House Ground floor (entrance foyer)

The University is committed to increasing the number of gender-neutral facilities on campus and including these facilities in the plans for new building developments.

Guidance on receiving a disclosure of trans status

Middlesex University respects the confidentiality of each of its students and will not reveal sensitive information about a student’s trans status without the prior agreement of the individual (unless this is required under safeguarding). If a staff member feels they need to share this information with colleagues (for example, to update their student record), they must ask your permission first. In order to action certain support and processes, a staff member may need to inform other relevant staff, but won’t do so without your consent. In each instance, the most limited about of information will be shared. To ‘out’ someone, without their permission, may constitute harassment and accordingly may amount to a breach of discipline or a criminal offence.

The following are informal guidelines on how to support people who are trans or non-binary:

  • Treat trans and non-binary people with the dignity and respect they deserve and consider the additional barriers and sensitivities they may face.
  • Respect the person's gender identity.  Recognise that an individual's identity may change over depending on how they'd like to identify. Trust that their identity exists and is valid.
  • Listen- if a student or colleague feels comfortable in opening up to you, the most important thing you can do is listen.
  • Don't assume a person's gender by their name, voice or the way they express their clothing.
  • If you aren't sure what pronouns an individual uses, you could use the singular 'they' or respectfully ask. E.g: 'May I ask what pronoun you would like me to use to address you?'
  • Use the name and pronoun that the person asks you to. If you make a mistake, correct yourself, apologise and move on.
  • Support and correct each other if a person makes a mistake with someone's pronouns, whether the individual is present or not.
  • Respect people's privacy. Do not ask what their 'real' or 'birth' name is.
  • If you happen to know the name someone was given at birth but no longer uses, don't share it or their trans status without the person's explicit permission.
  • Avoid personal questioning and respect people's boundaries. Just like everyone, LGTBQ + people may want to keep their personal lives private. If you have any questions about supporting a peer who identifies as trans or non-binary, contact wellbeing@mdx.ac.uk

MDX and MDXSU support

There are a number of online wellbeing platforms available to support your mental health and wellness through your time at Middlesex. Flick through the digital Student Health Magazine and UniHub health and wellness pages for self-directed support.

Middlesex University Students’ Union (MDXSU)

MDXSU LGBTQ+ Liberation Group provides support, runs events and brings together like-minded people. The MDXSU LGBT group is open to any students who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community or as an ally.

The group provides a space for meeting other people, sharing experiences and creating change on campus. Throughout the year, the group run a variety of virtual and in person events and meetings for both members and allies.

MDXSU Advice Service offers free, confidential and independent advice to students. They offer support on a range of academic issues and also provide guidance for non-academic issues.

Personal Tutor

Your Personal Tutor is your constant point of contact through your time at Middlesex, and we hope that you feel comfortable speaking with them about your experiences.

They are available to help you to settle into life at Middlesex, provide you with pastoral and academic support, and will meet with you regularly.

If you are not yet sure who your Personal Tutor is, you can find this on the MDXapp in the ‘key contacts’ tile.

Counselling and Mental Health

Counselling and Mental Health can support you if you require support with your mental health. You can request a one-off appointment with a member of the team to discuss a challenge, or you can refer yourself for ongoing support.

Middlesex University LGBT+ Network

The University has an active LGBT+ Network which is open to all LGBTQIA+ staff, friends and students.

Throughout the year the group organises frequent events and activity (currently online due to COVID-19), from coffee mornings and quiz nights to women-only spaces for self-defining women and non-binary people to chat informally.

The group marches in the Pride in London parade, along with friends and allies of the group, and also gets involved in community pride celebrations, such as Middlesex Pride and UK Black Pride.

To find out more about the LGBT+ Network, you can check out their Twitter and their Facebook group, read their blog, and sign up to the mailing list.

Tackling unacceptable behaviour

Middlesex University doesn’t tolerate any kind of hate crime, including homophobia and transphobia. According to Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain Universities report, 22% of lesbian, bisexual and gay students and 60% of students who identify as trans have faced negative comments from other students whilst at University. These comments can have a negative impact on students’ university experience and have a detrimental effect on their mental health and engagement with their course.

Speak up

The most important thing you can do in these situations is to speak up. You can find out more about hate incidents and hate crimes on this helpsheet including where to report any such instances on social media, or regarding an incident that does not involve another member of the Middlesex community.

University staff will also challenge any negative comments that they witness, referring back to the University’s Equal Opportunities policy and Student Conduct and Discipline rules.

Let someone know

If you witness or experience any such incident, especially which involves a member of the #TeamMDX community, please report this immediately to our Care and Concern team.

If you need immediate support on campus, you should call Security on 0208 411 6200.

If you are living in MDX halls of residence, you have 24/7 security who you should also report any such incidents too.

  • Further links and resources

There are a number of external support services and resources which you may find useful to explore for your own learning, further advice or guidance:

The Uni Doctor,is a General Practitioner (GP) service based in Wembley who provide GP services to all registered students living in London. You can register with them online and can find out more on our health and wellbeing page. Your GP is your first point of call for any physical or mental health support. You should make sure that you are registered with a GP close to your term-time address. Your GP can also support you with your sexual health if you are sexually active, or you may be able to order a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) kit for home testing. You can find out more about sexual health and regular testing on our health guides page.
Brookis a sexual health charity, attend campus regularly and provide sexual health information and advice. They also provide information and signposting regarding HIV testing and support.
Gendered Intelligenceis an organisation aiming to increase understanding of gender diversity which runs youth groups and a mentoring scheme for trans people aged 13 to 25.
IMMANis a peer support group for LGBTQIA+ Muslims that aims to help reconcile faith with sexuality and gender identity.
London Friendis a charity supporting the health and mental wellbeing of the LGBTQIA+ in and around London
The LGBT Foundationprovides advice, support and information for LGBTQIA+ people.
Student Mindshave resources available to support students, tips from university staff, advice on having LGBTQIA+ conversations and more.
Switchboardoffers a phoneline specifically for LGBTQIA+ people open 10:00-22:00 daily and can take calls from anywhere in the UK. This information is also available on our Counselling and Mental Health Emergency and Crisis information page.
Student Prideis the UK’s biggest LGBTQIA+ event and runs each year in February (LGBT History Month).
NUS LGBT+ campaignexists to represent LGBTQIA+ students and defend their rights throughout their time at University.
DrugRehabprovides information and support to people facing substance use disorders especially within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Stonewallproduce resources, guidance and events which you may wish to explore. If you are an international student, Stonewall can also connect you to LGBTQIA+ groups and support in your home country.
Vice UK

Understanding the difference between non-binary, gender queer and gender non-confirming.

Education Beyond the Straight and Narrow:NUS research looking at LGBT students’ experience in Higher Education
Out & ProudA Deeper Look into the Life and Experiences of LGBT+ People
Stonewall LGBT in BritainTrans report

MDX LGBT+ blog

I’m non-binary – here’s how you can be my ally and gain my respect

MDX SU: LGBT+ History Month: Read, watch, listen

#TeamMDX are proud to support #TransRightsAreHumanRights and support trans people as employees, colleagues and students. See the growing group of leading businesses who are also speaking up for trans equality in the UK at transrightsarehumanrights.co.uk

How to be an ally

An ally can be described as a straight or cisgender person who provides support and advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community. Being a good ally to the community requires education, advocacy, action and a desire to learn from your mistakes.

Become an ally

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