Review of the Pride and Prejudice LGBT+ Symposium

Last week the Network held our first LGBT+ symposium titled ‘Pride and Prejudice’, which was a celebration of LGBT+ people in history, literature, the media and politics.  The event included a diverse range of keynote speakers from the LGBT+ community, as well as researchers and academics, each providing an insight into the varied and valuable history of LGBT+ people.

Director of Student Services Kevin Child opened the day with a passionate address on the importance of celebrating LGBT+ history, and highlighting the great work that is currently going on in the Swansea area.

The talks of the day were structured into four themed sessions: ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer’, ‘Talking Trans*’, ‘Ups and Downs’, and ‘Making History Today’. Each session contained an engaging mix of academic papers and talks from LGBT+ people sharing their own personal stories.

The Staff Network co-chairs were proud to participate alongside such great speakers; Alys provided the keynote speech setting the scene at the start of the day, exploring issues of LGBT+ identity and shared history, and Cath provided an engaging talk on fanzines and self-publishing as a means of doing queer activism. The Network interim vice-chair Eve Moriarty also contributed a fascinating paper that explored drag and gender fluidity.

In the afternoon, journalism students from the university came to film the event as part of their documentary on LGBT activism in Swansea, and the Network co-chairs were interviewed on topics including inclusivity at the university.

Towards the end of the day, a panel discussion was held on the importance of recognising and celebrating LGBT+ history, featuring a range of experiences from across the LGBT spectrum. The panel discussion was followed by an open floor Q&A session, which featured great audience participation and an exploration of some challenging issues.

The event was closed by Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, who gave an enthusiastic speech on the importance of LGBT activism and expressing pride at the achievements of Swansea University over the last two years in this area. Hilary also shared the exciting news that today the rainbow flag was successfully raised on the flagpole over Swansea University for the first time, demonstrating a clear and visible commitment to LGBT issues. The flag will stay up for the duration of LGBT History Month.

The symposium provided attendees with some unique and interesting personal stories, new perspectives on the issues, and some actionable ideas on how to progress LGBT+ equality in the future.

 

By Cath Elms

Co-Chair, LGBT+ Staff Network

 

Cath’s previous posts:

Straight Until Proven Queer

On Being an Imperfect Role Model

Ada Lovelace’s Poetical Science

 

February 27th, 2017

Posted In: Uncategorized

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