What is pride, how will it be celebrated and what are we doing to improve inclusivity on campus!
The SU wishes everyone, particularly those at the University who identify as LGBT+, a very happy Pride Month! This month is for everyone to embrace who they are and let the world know — in style! As an SU, we continue to celebrate the diverse community at Bath and we are strongly committed to campaigning for the rights of people of all sexualities and gender identities.
What is Pride?
Pride Month is celebrated every June around the world in acknowledgement of those involved in the Stonewall Riots in 1969, as well as in tribute to other LGBT+ activists who came before and after. Pride is a celebration of queer culture; it is an opportunity to come together and reaffirm the solidarity within the LGBT+ community. It is a time to honour the achievements of the community, let loose and have fun. Hundreds, if not thousands, of independent Pride celebrations happen globally and take the form of parades, parties, protests, and proms!
This year Campus Pride (10 June, 17:00-20:00) will be welcoming a host of entertainers to campus, alongside a range of workshops, and an information fair from internal departments and external organisations. The main stage will be on Chancellors’ Green and other activities will be in the Chancellors Building & the Edge.
History of Pride
The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations in New York City by members of the LGBT+ community in response to police raids on local gay bars. The riots are widely considered to be a turning point in the LGBT+ rights movement, leading to the formation of numerous LGBT+ rights organisations and the subsequent legalisation of homosexuality in countries across the world.1
Following the Stonewall Riots, organisers wanted to build on the spirit of resistance, they marked the anniversary of the uprising with an organized march to Central Park, adopting the theme of ‘Gay Pride’ as a counterpoint to the prevailing attitude of shame. Their “march down Christopher Street soon expanded to other cities, with many more joining in year on year through the 1970s until Pride became the massive celebration that we know today.”2
The fight for LGBT+ rights continue. In this county, despite recent progress, the experiences of trans people for example continue to be over-looked. Pride provides us an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the dignity, equality, and increased visibility of LGBT+ people in our community, all whilst having a good time.
Inclusivity at Bath
This month we can look back at the success we have had this year to improve inclusivity for our LGBT+ community at Bath:
The SU have:
- Relaunched our Inclusivity Award, including developing a range of resources for our Student Leader Hub around inclusivity. We were thoroughly impressed with the efforts our student groups went to be more inclusive. Particularly so, by the number of collaborations the LGBT+ student group undertook.
- Delivered in-person training to student leaders, such as Freshers' Week Captains, around equality, diversity, and inclusivity, with a specific section regarding LGBT+ inclusivity.
- Facilitated and supported an offer over LGBT+ history month which featured numerous collaborative events on campus, sharing LGBT+ culture and perspectives with the broader student population.
- Launched our Liberation Network, creating a direct space for under-represented groups, including LGBT+ students, to raise any inclusivity issues and for the SU, this has enabled LGBT+ student input on projects and emerging issues. The SU are constantly reviewing how we empower under-represented students. Liberation Network will be a big part of this work next year.
- Worked with the University on the Be The Change campaign, ensuring LGBT+ inclusivity is embedded in campus culture.
- Sourced funding for our LGBT+ student group to contract an external, trained facilitator for their Transgender support group.
- Lobbied the University to approve our request to release a map of where the current all gender-neutral toilets are. This will go some way to highlight the need for more provision, further encouraging inclusivity.
- Encouraged pronoun sharing and inclusive language use, through staff training.
- Encouraged the STV to hold women/womxn gym sessions.
- We are planning to provide Allyship training for sports committees with an anonymous forum for any questions, integrating weekly LGBTQ+ sessions into Bath Active.
- We are also setting aside a provision to deliver LGBT+ inclusivity training with student leaders next academic year.
The SU Bath are proud to represent students with a variety of sexualities and gender identities. The SU has an amazing LGBT+ student group, who do some incredible work in providing peer support and social opportunities to the LGBT+ community, as well as ensuring LGBT+ issues are represented at the University and The SU, through regularly liaising with our Officers and SU staff. This year, LGBT+ were recognised in the SU Awards along with Nightline, our student-run confidential listening service, for best collaboration. This is just a brief example of the great work they achieve.
Here's a list of some useful reading for further information about LGBT+ history, everyday discrimination faced by the LGBT+ community, and intersectionality:
If you'd like to reach out for support regarding any of the issues in this article, you can contact the wellbeing service through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or our SU Advice & Support Service through emailing email@example.com. Our LGBT+ student group also has a range of external organisations and useful resources available for you to access here.
- Lorenzo, I. (2019) The Stonewall uprising: 50 years of LGBT history. Stonewall website: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/about-us/news/stonewall-uprising-50-years-lgbt-history
- Baume, M (2020) What Is Pride Month and the History of Pride? Them website: What is Pride Month? The Complete History of Pride | them.