Every year, throughout June, gay pride festivals and events occur across the world to mark the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots which began outside the Stonewall Inn in New York. This weekend of rioting is acknowledged as the birthplace of the modern gay liberation movement, when LGBT+ communities first reacted against frequent police raids on gay bars and clubs.
While in the UK we have indeed seen positive change with both legal and social reforms taking place, such as gay marriage and anti-discrimination laws, there is still much to be done, including around hate crimes, manifestations of homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia in schools and society, and access to healthcare. Anxiety, depression and loneliness disproportionately affect LGBT+ people and both older and younger generations of LGBT+ people find access to support and services challenging and difficult, something which has been amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vulnerabilities are further intensified by challenges and discrimination people may face due to the intersection of their sexuality or gender identity with other characteristics such as race or disability, leading to different individual lived experiences.
It is crucial that we celebrate pride month more than ever even if only virtually or in a different way compared to 'normal' years, for all of the reasons stated above but also due to how disproportionately the pandemic has affected many within the LGBT+ community.
With Pride month in full bloom, there are some activities planned for you by our LGBT+ Staff Network in the upcoming weeks that we would like to share with you.
- Thursday (17 June), 5.30pm – LGBTQ+ Online quiz and pub night: Join us for a fun evening and test your knowledge of LGBTQ+ trivia and non-trivia alike! Pride-themed wear and backgrounds will be handsomely rewarded with admiration and compliments.
- Thursday 24 June, 5.30pm - Pride Picnic: Come along to our LGBT+ Network's second edition of the Pride Picnic. This will take place on campus at the meadow behind Founders, or in the Pack Horse. Bring a blanket, some food/drinks, and let's cheer to Pride!
- 21-30 June - Floating of the rainbow flag: If you are on campus, look out for the rainbow flag which will be raised at the Clock Tower, Founder's Building, for this whole week.
Please email LGBT.Staff@royalhollowayhul.ac.uk to register your interest. All colleagues are welcome.