As LGBT+ History Month draws to a close, IQ (Imperial College LGBT+ Society) is looking back on a successful month of inclusive and inspiring events. From film nights and quizzes, to bar nights and art exhibits, we’ve spent this month bringing Imperial’s LGBT+ community together to celebrate the accomplishments and reflect on the struggles of those who have come before us.
We’ve had a busy month, kicking off with a Bar Night at South London’s oldest surviving gay venue, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. With drag acts, stand-up comics and many other talents on display, it was a great night for all who attended. Our members attended screenings of two films shining a spotlight on queer relationships, The Favourite and Disobedience, hosted by Imperial Cinema, and visited “The Oscar Wilde Temple” at Studio Voltaire, an ambitious and immersive exhibition celebrating one of the earliest forebears of gay liberation. The exploration of queer art and expression was continued in an Arts and Crafts event co-hosted by IQ and Leonardo Fine Arts Society.
We liaised with the Careers Service to hold the inaugural LGBT+ Careers Event, a hugely successful event that connected students with LGBT+-supporting employers, followed by some of our members attending a panel hosted by the IC Investment Society, featuring senior professionals discussing their outstanding work to improve the inclusiveness of their workplaces for LGBT+ people.
LGBT+ History Month culminated with National Student Pride, an annual celebration of the young LGBT+ community at universities from across the UK, and the world. With three days of parties, debates, recruitment fairs and exhibitions, it’s the largest celebration of LGBT+ youth in the UK, with over 1700 students travelling to London to take part in the festivities. This year was no exception, and it was a great weekend for all the Imperial students who got involved.
Alongside LGBT+ History Month, February has also been Black History Month in the US. To celebrate this, we’ve adopted the redesigned pride flags introduced by the “More Color More Pride” campaign. These new flags, first raised in Philadelphia in 2017, introduce black and brown stripes to the iconic rainbow flag. These two simple stripes aim to acknowledge and celebrate the role of people of colour in the LGBT+ community, who have too often been marginalised, ignored and intentionally excluded. We’re also planning on changing our logo to not only better reflect our identity as Imperial’s LGBT+ Society, but also to ensure that our logo represents every member of the LGBT+ community at Imperial, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Our community has made such incredible progress over the years, but there is still more to do. IQ will continue supporting the LGBT+ community at Imperial and throughout London, welcoming truly everyone into our society. We’ll keep running events, raising awareness, and fighting to make Imperial a more inclusive place. There’s never been a better time to get involved with IQ and the LGBT+ Society, so we hope to see you all soon!