Imperial staff and postgraduate students marched among a sea of rainbow flags at this weekend’s Pride in London parade.
Imperial joined 30,000 people from 472 different organisations in what festival organisers have called the ‘most diverse’ parade ever.
Imperial 600, the College’s LGBTQ+ network for staff and postgraduate students, co-ordinated the College’s entry into the parade. The Imperial cohort, made up of 29 people, marched alongside counterpart networks from King’s College London and University College London.
Welcoming staff and students from all over the world
Caz Ulley, co-Chair of Imperial 600, said:
“It always surprises me when thousands of people cheer us on at the Pride in London parade. We could see how much our involvement meant to Imperial students, staff and alumni who were watching as we heard screams of delight when we passed by – some even jumped into the parade to take pictures with our banner.
"We could see how much our involvement meant to Imperial students, staff and alumni..." Caz Ulley co-Chair, Imperial 600
“This is why it is so important that the College takes part in Pride in London, especially as we welcome students and staff from all over the world, including those countries where it is illegal to be gay.”
This year's theme, Pride Matters, recognised that ‘Pride’ means different things to different people, whether it be protest, a symbol of freedom or a platform for diversity.
Dan Hdidouan, a PhD student in the Centre for Environmental Policy, recently featured in the College’s LGBTSTEM Day campaign on social media and also took part in the Pride in London parade. He said:
“Pride and the parade was an incredible experience. I used to be defensive and insecure about my sexuality. It’s liberating being honest with yourself and others, and it’s fun doing it with amazing people at Imperial. I wanted to march to continue passing this message of pride in who we are, pride in acceptance of myself and others – it’s a lesson worth sharing.”
Creating inclusive environments
Professor Stephen Curry, Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), also marched alongside colleagues at the Pride parade. He said:
"By marching in the parade we are sending a message to staff and students at Imperial who are part of the LGBTQ+ community: you are welcome here.” Professor Stephen Curry Assistant Provost (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion)
“I am delighted to have joined friends and colleagues at the Pride in London parade, a festival that celebrates love in all its different forms, gives a voice to those who have been silenced and champions the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
“The celebration and challenge that Pride represents echoes Imperial’s desire to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for everyone at the College. By marching in the parade we are sending a message to staff and students at Imperial who are part of the LGBTQ+ community: you are welcome here.”
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