Pembroke LGBTQ+ Rep's 2019 update

31st May 2019

This report was produced by Niamh McAndrew (JCR LGBTQ+ Rep)

February was LGBTQ+ History Month, and this year, Pembroke flew the Pride flag for a full week to mark its importance for many individuals in the College community. Before this year, the Pride flag was only flown for one day, and it was easy to miss if you were out of college for classes and lectures. In Michaelmas last year, myself and the JCR President, Roshan Shah, worked with the college’s Governing Body to change our flag policy and make a strong gesture from Pembroke’s united staff and student bodies, to show that our college is truly welcoming of the LGBTQ+ Community.

This year, we have sought to make a space for Pembroke within the university-wide LGBTQ+ community. With a range of joint socials with other colleges, we’ve successfully helped Pembrokians to expand their networks and create a diverse home for themselves in Oxford, as LGBTQ+ individuals. Having a strong LGBTQ+ community within Pembroke is important and we felt that it was vital for us to help our students to overcome any sense of isolation, by expanding the number of events we hold.

One of the highlights of Hilary Term and LGBTQ+ History Month was the highly anticipated Pride Bop (party). The JCR Entz reps held the Bop at Plush, Oxford’s LGBTQ+ club, and the theme was very simple – Pride! As an LGBTQ+ person, it felt liberating to be able to wear my Pride flag and celebrate my identity in a safe space with my straight friends and my LGBTQ+ friends. It was wonderful to see other LGBTQ+ Pembrokians able to do the same, and to see so many others act as allies and treat the Pride event respectfully. When the Entz reps put together the event page for the Bop, they included the contact details of LGBTQ+ Pembrokians who were happy to answer any questions and offer support at the bop. Creating a support network within the Pembroke community has been a priority for us this year, and the event really helped us achieve this. Outside of social events, we have worked hard to advertise mine and Roshan’s availability to talk with anyone who has any questions about personal LGBTQ+ issues.

Trinity Term is stressful for everyone, with exams and coursework deadlines looming, so I hope I’ll be able to continue to grow Pembroke's LGBTQ+ friendly space, with movie nights and socials being organised. Oxford Pride is being held this Saturday, 1st June, coinciding with International Pride Month throughout June, giving us the perfect opportunity to relax and forget about our deadlines, at least for a day! We look forward to seeing lots of Pembroke students, staff and alumni, both marching in the community and supporting us as allies.

Credit: Imogen Cawley
Credit: Imogen Cawley