Lucien talks LGBT+ visibility and liberation through vibrant events and more – “Gayser Tag”, anyone?
Over Pride Week (6th – 10th of February), the QM LGBT+ Society coordinated with the student’s union in offering ten events for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students on and off-campus. We started the week with a stall in library square offering information about the upcoming events, giving non-members an opportunity to find out more about LGBT+ people and our community at Queen Mary. Each day we held a different social event celebrating each different demographic in our society: Lesbian Lunch, Gay Gathering, Bisexual Brunch, and Trans Tea. These were all well-attended and were a safe space for people to make friends with other Queen Mary students.
We had our most successful round of free HIV testing with our associate charity Positive East in Ground on Tuesday. This was followed by the Literary Inspirations Evening where students could share pieces of poetry and prose that meant something to them as an LGBT+ person. We had readings that ranged from Elizabeth Bishop to Rupi Kaur to traditional Welsh hymns. Our society plans to hold more events in this style where LGBT+ people can share their own pieces of work. This week marked the 30th anniversary of Mark Ashton’s passing, the founder of Lesbians And Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) and an important part of queer left-wing history.
Our most popular events included “Gayser Tag” and a screening of the film “Pride”, which is a film that encourages cooperation and mutual support between minorities and liberation groups. We had 20 people attend our laser quest event and received a lot of positive feedback on this alcohol-free outing, making it another event we now intend to repeat regularly. A night out to Dalston Superstore, a gender-neutral queer bar in East London, also proved to be popular.
We gained lots of new members in our Facebook group “QM LGBT+ Society” during Pride Week. It was not only a week celebrating political, educational, social awareness with regards to the LGBT+ but a week filled with inclusive and productive fun for the members of our society and other LGBT+ people, as well as their friends at university.