No labels. No flags. I am what I am. And if we could just get that into our heads that we accept someone regardless of what they look like or where they were born or what their accent is or what their sexuality might be or is going to be…IAN MCKELLEN
I was at the National Student Pride last Saturday at the Westminster University and I have to tell you, it was a blast! Thank you for everyone involved with organising this magical event. The National Student Pride is an annual event held in February (LGBT History month), mixing parties, debates, cinema screening, a graduate recruitment fair, exhibitions and workshops. For more information, visit their website.
I only had the chance to attend the Pride not Prejudice discussion and the interview with Sir Ian McKellen. Both were very educational, entertaining, hopeful and inspirational. I would recommend to check out the official website and research the people who participated in this event, listen to some podcasts they mention and come along next year Some important quotes/thoughts that stayed with me after this fascinating Saturday afternoon:
Queer was not a word we liked to use about ourselves because it was a word that was used about us and we haven’t realised that we can grab that word and keep it for ourselves.SIR IAN MCKELLEN
Pride not Prejudice Panel
- Know your worth.
- Stand up, share your story.
- Being LGBTQ is political. Our identity is political.
- People are uncomfortable about racism but we need to talk about it.
- I suppose, looking back, there was silence. Absolute silence. If you began to think as I did that I was attracted to men and people of my own age, there was no one, absolutely no one to talk to about it.
- I am one of the troops. I’m not a leader.
- I just wish when I was younger I could have been myself. I would be different now.
- Our politicians let us down dreadfully.
- Margaret Thatcher who, although she worked happily with gay people professionally, she didn’t really understand that there was a need for them to join the human race.
- I don’t know how I got the part. I’ve never read Lord of the Rings.
All in all, I believe that if we are just generally open, approachable, respectful and we start conversations, we should aspire change. But change won’t happen unless we start listening to each other’s stories and share ours.