OUSU to run ‘Queering Consent’ workshops

OUSU is to start running training for people to facilitate sexual consent workshops specifically focused on issues surrounding consent in “queerer scenarios”, according to Anna Bradshaw, OUSU VP for Women.

Bradshaw wrote that, like OUSU’s other sexual consent workshops, the ‘Queering Consent’ workshops will “aim to create a safe space to evaluate and develop our understanding of sexual consent, and to stimulate broader conversations across communities”, and these will specifically “deal with different, queerer, scenarios”.

These workshops have been widely welcomed among the LGBTQ community. Tam Guobadia, president of the LGBTQ society, highlights: “Mainstream consent workshops, while important, are not made for us. The reality is that our bodies, and what we do with them, requires that these workshops are not simply repackaged but reimagined.”

Guobadia also stated: “The queering of consent workshops beautifully functions[…] to help us learn boundaries and respect for bodily integrity, within spheres long hidden, [and] to reinject narratives of queer desire back into mainstream discourse”; he went on to add his hope to become a facilitator.

Adam Ward, OUSU’s LGBTQ officer, commented that he is enthusiastic about the prospect of the ‘queering consent’ workshops. Ward noted: “Including narratives of those who identify as queer strengthens the dialogue students can have about sexual consent”.

These follow OUSU’s sexual consent workshops which ran in Freshers’ Week in every college which admits undergraduates. Jamie Jackson, St John’s LGBTQ rep, labelled the consent workshops in freshers’ week “excellent” and stated: “In focussing on consent scenarios faced by LGBTQ people these workshops will hopefully allow discussions further to those sparked by [the previous workshops].” Jackson noted his belief that these are “something I am sure that the John’s LGBTQ community would be interested in”.

The first facilitation training session is scheduled for Thursday 3rd week (30th October). An online sign-up form has been posted on the ‘NoHeterox’ Facebook group.