<> Arden University Podcast: Pride 2023 | Arden University

Arden University Podcast: Pride 2023

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With June being Pride Month, the latest episode of the Arden University Podcast was dedicated to a discussion on Pride, as well as some of the current topics and issues at the heart of modern Pride celebrations. 

Alongside our hosts, Jacob and Alicia, was Fernando Rosell-Aguilar, Senior Lecturer at Arden and the co-chair of Sparkle the LGBTQI+network at Arden, and Rob Barnsley Arden’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion and Talent Partner. 

You can check out some of the highlights from the discussion, which covered a wide breath of topics related to Pride, below. 

The full podcast episode is available on all major podcast platforms. 

What is pride month? 

Rob: Pride is a chance for the LGBTQI+ community and allies to look back on the the journey that we've all gone through with regards to the rights for our community. 

For organizations to show their support to their colleagues, friends, and family and just make it really visible at a time when things are in a much better place but can still get better 

Francisco: I think what people sometimes forget is that a Pride march is a protest. It's a celebration of everything we've achieved, and we've come so far in the last 20/30/40 years, but it's still a protest because there's still a long way to go. 

People focus on the people in the funny costumes, or whether there should be kids there and watching men, but you know there's still a long way to go. People kind of assume that because two men can get married or two women can get married that that's that and pretty much every box is ticked… But it isn't.

Certainly with the trans community in particular, they seem to be under attack at this point and pride needs to be both a celebration and a protest. 

You both attended the Birmingham Pride March, how was that? 

Francisco: it was joyous. That’s the only way I can describe it. When I joined Arden just over a year ago, one of the first things I did was ask my line manager for permission to have some time to dedicate towards setting up an LGBT Network which Arden didn't have at the time. She kindly agreed and marching as Arden at a pride event was kind of like the really visible goal. 

I think enabling our comms to showcase that Arden was present at Pride, enabling the conversation within the organisation that “Yes, we were supporting pride” and we were representing the university is a big milestone. 

Aside from the functional wanting to do it, for those who came, for those of us who had a role in organising it, it was a chance to meet people who identify as LGBTQI+, or who are allies.

We all work in in different spaces so to be in the same physical space, doing something as empowering as marching together, and shouting “Give me an A give me an R give me a D…” Doing something together and representing the University was just such a buzz throughout the day. 

Could you explain what the flag means and all the different parts that make up the flag as well?

Rob: Fernando and I have some joined up but some different views on this which obviously makes the world a good a good place. 

The flag has adapted over time. In 1978 it started off as nine colours. It became six colours more recently, until 2018. 

Initially each of those colours represented different things. I haven't got my Pride Almanac with me at the moment but each colour kind of means something within the community. 

The initial Pride flag, that came out the Stonewall riots and Harvey Milk and those kind of things that happen in the U.S, was all around equality and celebrating all the differences of the LGBTQI+ family you know.  Trans individuals played a massive, massive part in The Stonewall Riot so that flag did include everybody

In 2018 we added the additional of elements of the flag – representing
queer people of colour and representing trans people –  until more recently when a couple of years ago the purple intersex Circle on the yellow was added. 

Fernando: I've always felt that the traditional flag with the six colours the colours weren't meant to represent a single sexuality or identity, they were just diversity and the community as a whole so I felt that adding something that specifically represented people of colour, that represented trans people, was just not necessary because they were already represented. 

Rob: That flag did represent everybody, but I think what's happened over time is that certain groups of the LGBT community have faced different challenges and so therefore it's almost a way of bringing that group into the Forefront a little bit more. You have the battles that different LGBT groups were facing. Queer people of colour have had different battles within their own community. 

In the present day, when you look at LGBT hate crime as a whole kind they are increasing by about 47/ 48% in the last 12 months, but hate crime directed toward trans people is more like 54% - so actually having that different element of the flag as well just highlights an area and the sections of the community that are facing different challenges.