Oxford launches LGBTQ sexual consent workshops

They will start in Hilary


OUSU will run sexual consent workshops targeted towards the LGBTQ community.

The workshops, which will begin in February next year, have been designed to cover consent-related issues which are unique to those identifying within the LGBTQ spectrum.

Attendance will be open to all students in the university, and is non-compulsory.

The classes will start in Hilary


Queer identity and open relationships will be addressed, as well as issues stemming from trans-identities and STIs, with topics such as asexuality and sex work remaining in the pipeline for now.

Due to the broad nature of the content on offer, students will be encouraged to pursue subjects which they find interesting.

At the beginning of this year, Oxford and Cambridge were the first unis in the UK to pioneer sexual consent workshops, which ran during freshers week in all undergraduate colleges.

The aim of these was to work towards tackling sexual harassment on campus.

Becky Jenkins, Welfare Rep for Catz, said: “The students who attended said that they felt the workshops were well facilitated and defined consent in a clear and informative way without being patronising.”

Tam Guobadia

In the wake of this success, Tam Guobadia, president of the LGBTQ society, explains the importance of having an alternative workshop: “Heteronormativity is so pervasive in the way we are educated about sex and consent that queerness is eradicated to the margins within the course of this education.

“Standard consent workshops are incomplete in this sense; queer bodies are in need of qualification.”

The LGBTQ consent workshops in Oxford will be the debut of such events in the UK, and OUSU’s plans have been met with great enthusiasm from students.

Daniel Shao, a student at Catz, asserted that he is looking forward to attending the workshops. He said: “I hope they take into consideration the differences which gay people experience in sexual, bodily and cultural spheres, whilst maintaining a very accessible and friendly tone.”

Guobadia also emphasised the necessity of bringing queer sexuality out of the margins: “Healthy sexual relationships and the consent they are based on require empathy, and these workshops do just that: they create consent narratives queer bodies can empathise with.”