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LGBT+ History Month: lifts off with Cambridge's opening ceremony

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Rasing the Flag:

Tomorrow the 1st of February 2020 marks the start of this year’s LGBTQ+ History month. Cambridge City council, invited us today to their flag raising ceremony, which they have now done for 10 years. We can't put words to the joy, empowerment, and vibrancy to the day we had, so we have added a few photos below for you to see for yourself!

This year’s event was hosted by Encompass Network, who brought together a variety of charities whom all support local LGBTQ+ residence. Encompass have also put together an amazing full-to-the-brim events calendar for all to attend, student and local resident alike. You can see this calendar and join in here.

This year was also the first year the adapted rainbow flag with two colours added to it, black and brown was raised in Cambridge to take a first step in confronting racism in LGBT+ spaces. This inclusive flag was spoken about by a representative from the QTI Coalition of Colour in an empowering speech, centered around why the fight continues and importantly why all Queer and Trans people still need representation. QTI is a network for self-identified QTI people of colour in Cambridge, if you want to find out more click here

 

What we found out:

From hearing these amazing charities speak, we descovered a range of amazing opportunities happening right here in Cambridge! From Queer Beers, to a Rainbow Library to an incredible creative writing competition which sits in line with this year’s LGBTQ+ theme of Poetry, Proes, and plays.

“There are categories for under-16s and all ages, poetry and short stories, and each category will have a first prizes of £50 and a runner-up prize of £25 in a combination of CUP vouchers and book tokens! The prizes are generously sponsored by the Kite Trust, Cambridgeshire’s leading organisation working with LGBT+ young people, and the CUP, the publishing business of the University of Cambridge.”

Open to all, they ask you to submit your writing on LGBTQ+ themes – but of course you can interpret that however you like! At the Prize Ceremony, 17.45 on Thursday 27th February in Cambridge Central Library, they will read extracts from the winning entries.

“The competition will be open for entries from Saturday 1st February at 12 noon until Friday 21st February at 12 noon. Details on how to enter here.”

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ARU Students’ Union:

We will be adding a range of events specifically for you as students at ARU to our What’s On Calendar – you can filter by LGBTQ to see all events being run as part of this history month!

We are also celebrating our own history of representation here,  we are constantly working towards better student experiences for our LGBT+ students through elected representation and will be looking for next years representatives over the next month. If you want to be the LGBTQ+ Rep or Trans Rep here out more here.

We are so very proud of the work our reps have done in the past from distributing and normalising pronoun badges and pronouns in staff signatures, to striving for gender neutral bathrooms in all campus spaces, and celebrating our LGBT+ students across the year as well as in the month of February for LGBT+ History Month. We aim for staff and students of all identifications to act as allies, and we also compassionately educate to help that happen. But what we love the most, is that you the students of ARU lead everything we do. The students at ARU are a vital part of the Cambridge community heartbeat and we are delighted that our student community and the town community can show solidarity together to support minority groups.

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