The students of the Strode’s College LGBTQ Society and teachers Marc Dodi and Ben O’Connell organised a week of events surrounding LGBTQ history and ideas.
From 5th to 9th February a range of events took place across the college including a debate on gender hosted by the student debating society, art workshops, film screenings and a bake sale.
The key motivations behind the week were to encourage students to critically engage with ideas surrounding gender and sexuality, to explore LGBTQ history and to consider ways in which students and staff could demonstrate support for the LGBT community both in the college and in a wider context.
Speakers who ran sessions during the week included Simon Sladen, Theatre and Performance Curator at the V and A Museum whose session explored queer objects throughout history, and Marcus Morgan, a magician and activist, who provided an interactive seminar on bisexuality and a magic performance on coming out.
When asked on the importance of Pride Week at the college, one student explained: 'Pride is important for those trying to find themselves; who can then be validated, accepted and celebrated for who they are, whether that be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.'
Another student stated, 'I hope that Pride Week inspires people to be active as allies to the LGBT community… Also to inspire more schools and colleges to have their own pride events as pride deserves to be in education.'
It is hoped that Pride Week at Strode’s will provoke engagement with LGBTQ representation and inclusion in the college itself but also provide a general blueprint for Pride events at schools and colleges across the country.