Launch of #DMUpride to celebrate equality and diversity

Pride is officially underway at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with the launch of a month-long celebration of the LGBQ+ communities.

There was a big show of support as #DMUpride marked the start of its ambitious and diverse annual celebration of acceptance.

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It’s an important event for the university as it demonstrates inclusivity and support for LGBT+ students and staff. The university is committed to ensuring that everyone on campus has the freedom to be who they want to be.

Today’s launch at the Campus Centre saw dozens of #DMUpride T-shirts and rainbow cupcakes being given out to students.

There was also a selection of stalls including De Montfort Students’ Union’s own LGBT+ Society, NHS LASS and Trade Sexual Health.

This year’s programme has an abundance of great opportunities, including sport, film screenings, plays, seminars, discussions and cultural events. The aim of the events is to educate and inform, as well as being enjoyable and fun.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, told the audience of up to 100 people that when he was a student in the mid-1980s there were only ‘negative and pessimistic images’ associated with LGBT issues on Government TV adverts.

He said: “Fast forward 30 years to DMU and we have this magnificent celebration. It’s very important to DMU and the city as a whole.

“We are ensuring people live as positive and authentic individuals. Everyone has the right to be authentic.”

Professor Shellard said he also hoped #DMUPride would spread a ‘message of hope’ and encourage students to have the confidence to ‘come out’ so they can be as ‘happy and fulfilled’ as everyone else.

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Ahtesham Mahmood, DMU Students’ Union President, said he was proud to help launch the event to promote DMU’s safe, non-judgemental environment. He said the event was about ‘love, happiness and acceptance.’

Jack Wilkin, 21, Vice-chairman of the LGBT+ Society, said: “To have this event really shows how accepting the university is; it’s a safe and welcoming environment for us all to be in.

“I am proud to attend a university where everyone is so supportive and so open about it.

“It makes a real difference to go to lectures knowing you have the freedom to be who you want to be; nobody has to feel alone or isolated, they have lots of support.”

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The exciting programme of events, which continues throughout February, includes a seminar on LGBT+ inclusivity in Higher Education, a DMUtalk exploring President Trump’s attempted transgender military ban and special theatre performances of acclaimed productions.

Owen Lloyd, 20, a third-year Advertising and Marketing student, said he didn’t know of any other university that held a Pride event on the same scale as DMU.

He said: “We are celebrating everyone as individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

“This event is very personal to many students; it builds a real sense of community that shows we are all in similar situations and here for each other when we need support.”

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Oliver Phillips, 22, a MSc Psychological Well-being student, said: “It’s really important that the university has something like this as it brings everyone together to be celebrated for who they are.”

The SU continues to host a number of successful campaigns throughout the year that have pushed the importance of equality and diversity through the DMUfreedom charter.

For more information or to download the event brochure, visit the #DMUPride landing page.

Posted on Monday 5th February 2018

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