Stratford-upon-Avon College’s Pride Club have run an event for students and staff to celebrate LGBT+ History month.
The Pride group, the first of its kind at the College, began in September 2021 and meets every Wednesday on campus. Members take part in events and activities throughout the year.
Jess Wedgbury, 17 who studies Psychology, Criminology & Law, details why she joined the group: “I joined to find people similar to me and who advocate the same way I do.” Harry Stringer, 18 also studying Psychology, Criminology and Law commented: “Friends of mine were going, and I decided to tag along. I found it to be a fun, relaxed environment where everyone is welcome.”
The group is facilitated by Student Enrichment Officer Sam Bansal, who commented: “We wanted a way to educate others on the different sexualities, gender identities and general terms that can relate to the ‘plus’ as this community can encompass so many people.”
The event took part in the College’s reception and the Pride group interacted with students and staff passing through. Though LGBT+ history month celebrates all elements of the LGBT+ community, the students decided to narrow their focus to the plus element.
The group spoke to people about what sexualities and gender identities they had heard of and to write them on a plus shaped piece of paper. The group also handed out cards with a definition written on it that people could take away with them and learn.
Students and staff were able to fill in the ‘plus’ with gender and sexuality related terms and rewarded with Haribo for taking part
Annie Ireland, 16 is part of the Pride group and thought the event was really useful: “I think it’s really important to raise awareness. Especially after lockdowns where people were alone figuring out who they are. It’s also the awareness that it is people we are talking about, not just a subject.”
Lu Clarke, 17, said: “It’s a great way to educate others especially about the wider subject area” and Lottie Stock, 17, added: “Inclusivity is still not as accepted so it’s important to help out those who don’t know what it’s all about and reach out to them.”
Health & Social Care student, Vic Gwodz, is a student rep for the College and really enjoyed the event. She commented: “I think it is a great idea. It’s great to have the chance to represent history and voices who had to fight for their rights.”