[Oliver Price | Contributing Writer]
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans) month has been started with the signature Rainbow Flag being flown at College Lane and a screening of the 2014 film Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus.
Pride is a heartwarming true story about a group of Lesbian and Gay activists, who called themselves “Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners”, raising money to support striking miners in Thatcher’s Britain. The film focuses on the solidarity between persecuted groups of people (be it by the government or the tabloids) and makes a big point that people should accept each other in spite of, or even because of, their differences.
The role of LGBT people in aiding the Trade Unions during the Miner’s Strike has sometimes been overlooked, but not by Ian Murphy, an official from the Communication Workers Union. He thought that the film gave “an insightful look at some of the situations people found themselves in.”
In 1985, Labour tabled a motion at their national conference in Bournemouth to support equal rights for gay and lesbian people, which got passed at conference with the aid of the vote from the Union of Mineworkers.
Emma Absolon, a Careers and Placements Officer, thought that the film was a good thing to show during LGBT history month because she said: “It was all new to me, and it is about the importance of solidarity.”
Min Rodriguez, the Head of Equality at the University of Hertfordshire, said that LGBT history month is, “really good exposure for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans staff and students,” and by, “giving visibility to those communities… people will feel more comfortable to be out in the workplace or as a student, and they know that perhaps there is somewhere they can go for support, and that it’s not all doom and gloom; it’s not about homophobia, biphobia, transphobia all the time, there is something more positive than that.”
She commended the University of Hertfordshire, saying that in regards to the LGBT community, “attitudes are pretty positive, I haven’t heard any major incidents of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia.”
She also said people can “get a bit lethargic about LGBT rights and we may think that everything’s done now, and it’s not. I think there’s a long way to go and people should be more active about LGBT equality.”
LGBT history month will give us all a chance to reflect on the past ill-treatment of LGBT people, and will give us all a chance to make sure that such things do not happen again. And watch Pride, it’s fantastic!