Diversity at HU

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Diversity at HU | Dimensions of diversity | Sexual orientation and gender diversity

Sexual orientation and gender diversity

Gender equality is a well established area of action at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. However, gender diversity encompasses more than just the so-called binary gender order - that is to say, the idea that there are only two genders, men and women. This idea is seemingly justified by biological facts and goes hand in hand with clear social roles ascribed to men and women.

People who diverge from this binary order in either their sexual orientation or gender identity are often faced with social exclusion or discrimination in their everyday lives. This group is commonly subsumed in the acronym LGBTI oder LGBTQ, meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer persons. The term "queer" can be understood as a general designation for identities that diverge from cis-heteronormativity, which means the social norm of identifying with the sex assigned at birth and desiring people of the opposite sex.


A clear stance against homophobia and transphobia

Discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation are strongly out of line with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin's identity. For this reason, the university has joined Alliance against Homophobia. The goal of the alliance is to oppose any form of discrimination based on individual sexual orientations.

Among the respondents of the 2019 survey "Diversity at HU", 23 percent of respondents have experienced or witnessed discrimination based on gender identity at least once; this number is 18 percent for discrimination based on sexual orientation. People affected by discrimination or harassement may confidentially contact the women's representatives, the student body's speakers on queer_feminism or its trans counselling.


Living together as diverse genders free from discrimination

The university's guideline on gender-sensitive language offers advice on how to include non-binary and trans people into university life in a non-discriminatory manner. In its glossary, it explains the central concepts of gender-sensitive language, such as the gender star which functions as a symbolic placeholder within words for all gender identities beyond "man" and "woman". It is equally important to respect the identities and designations chosen by members of the university for themselved such as their title, first name and pronoun.

Information on queer studies as an area of research at HU can be found on the website of the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies.



Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
President's office
Central women's representative
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 2093 12830
Email: diversitaet.frb@hu-berlin.de
Website: frauenbeauftragte.hu-berlin.de/en


Further HU resources

RefRat queer_feminism // trans counselling [German // English on request]

Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies [English]

Alliance against homophobia [German]

Guideline on gender-sensitive language [German]