Queer Mutual Mentoring Pilot Scheme

Call for Participants

The Queer Mutual Mentoring (QMM) pilot scheme is a resource for all students, scholars, and musicians who identity as LGBTQ+ or their allies in addressing challenges of our work and student lives. It allows for participants to engage in mutual sharing, learning, supporting, and inspiring, processes that can flow in different directions depending on the individual participants. One of the central aims of the scheme is to strengthen the exchange of knowledge and skills for dealing with issues that relate to, or are shaped by, issues of gender and sexuality, as they intersect with other aspects of our identities and biographies. Mentoring can include a wide range of points of discussion, including but not limited to the following issues:

  • Coming out to fellow students/colleagues

  • Career guidance both within and beyond the academy and music industry

  • Discrimination and bullying (among student and/or staff)

  • Discussing queer theory

  • Expanding networks

  • Self-care strategies

  • Challenging trans-, bi- and homophobia among peers

  • Negotiating new roles and institutional structures

  • Queering the syllabus and/or teaching methods

  • The needs of a student body that's diverse across gender and sexuality

 

The QMM pilot scheme involves participants being matched with one, two or three other people. Mentoring will last for six months and will consist of roughly one online meeting per month, each meeting lasting around one hour. Participants will be invited to a group discussion with all other participants at the end of the period. Following completion of the scheme, participants will be asked to offer feedback. All meetings are confidential.

Our scheme is inspired by intersectional feminist and queer perspectives. Key facets for successful mutual mentoring are listening, building trust, showing empathy and respect, being non-judgemental, and promoting mutual growth and self-reflection. We encourage all participants to prepare for meetings with a list of achievements and goals to share and discuss with fellow participants as well as one to three questions. We also recommend participants to keep a QMM journal in order to document your personal journey of learning and reflection.

The QMM scheme is not a substitute for mental health services and if participants need specific support for depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse, we strongly recommend you seek this from your local institutional or national health services. Similarly, while the QMM scheme may provide a safe space in which to discuss discrimination and harassment, this is not a substitute for professional legal advice, and we encourage you to speak to staff or student union caseworkers, or legal professionals, should you be considering taking legal action.

In order for the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group to document and share reflections about the significance and efficacy of the scheme for the LGBTQ+ community, we would like to publish an article on the scheme following its completion in dialogue with participants. Participation in this aspect of the project is voluntary.

If you are interested in participating in the QMM scheme, please send a brief text (c.250 words) detailing your background and your desire to participate by 8th March 2021.

Please send applications to the following email address: queermutualmentoring[at]mailbox[dot]org

 

Any further questions can also be directed to the same email address.

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