Happy Birthday DMU Pride – 10th anniversary launch starts month of celebrations to showcase the LGBTQ+ community

The 10th DMU Pride festival has been launched on campus to mark the start of a month of celebrations showcasing the university’s support and unity with the LGBTQ+ community.

A crowd of students and staff met in the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Campus Centre atrium at midday yesterday to mark the launch, which coincides with LGBT History Month – an annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights, and related civil rights, movements.

 PRIDE main one

Liv with their diva essential - a boa - entertains the students and staff

Services from the city and county – such as Trade Sexual Health and Soft Touch Arts – ran stalls to show students and staff support from the wider community and people were able to find out about events spread throughout February to celebrate DMU Pride.

While artiste Liv, the self-titled ‘hairiest woman in showbusiness and nonbinary diva’, put on a fabulous drag showcase of singing, lip-syncing, ‘family-friendly’ humour and an LGBTQ+ quiz.

Professor Susan Orr, Pro Vice Chancellor Education and Equalities at De Montfort University, who opened the event with a quote from Marsha P Johnson, an American Black trans activist who fought for gay liberation and was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

“No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us”, Prof Orr read.

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A crowd of students and staff celebrates the opening of DMU Pride

She continued: “It is a quote that is just as relevant today as it was in 1969. These words are a reminder of the importance of realising the challenges for students not just here in Leicester but also at our campuses overseas.

“Liberation is not just for the LGBTQ+ community but also a call for racial equality and disability equality, to name but a few."


Look at what's on for DMU Pride

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Prof Orr said she was proud that DMU was the third highest-placed university in the UK in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

“It is crucial we celebrate DMU Pride but recognise there is still work to be done. We want to lead the sector in equality, diversity and inclusion. It makes DMU a great place to study and work.”

Naffie Ngum, a final year Psychology student, said: “It was really exciting tosee so many people here at the launch. The performance by Liv was great.

PRIDE staff reps

LGBTQ+ staff committe co-chairs Zara and Amelia

“I believe it’s a good thing for people to be given the opportunity to have conversations and learn more about DMU Pride. It makes the campus a safe place to be.”

Zara Hooley and Amelia Roberts are Co-Chairs of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network at DMU and helped organise DMU Pride.

Amelia said: “DMU Pride is important because you need visibility and you need to show we are bringing together people from different backgrounds, communities and cultures.

"DMU Pride is about education but it is also about the support we can find at the university.”

Zara added: “The events are also open to the community around DMU who come together with students and staff to show inclusion.

“It is important for DMU to celebrate and value community and for the community to know they will be supported and valued for who they are, in a safe and welcoming environment.”

Jay Cotton, who helped organise the opening event, is one of the Wellbeing Officers at DMU.

He said: “I love the fact DMU has such a strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

“And because DMU shows it cares... I believe people come here to study for that very reason.”

PRIDE liv monty

Liv and Monty have a natter after the launch!

Gavin Brown, Chief Executive of Trade Sexual Health, said: “It is so important for students and staff to be made to feel welcome and included and that services from around the city and county are here to signpost help that is available.

“As a health charity, building a community here is important. If you do not feel somewhere that you belong you cannot look after your health.”

You can find out more about the DMU Pride festival here while the calendar for all of the events taking place in February can be found here




Posted on Thursday 1 February 2024

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