This month, we’ve been speaking to a few of your student representatives to get their thoughts on Pride! This week we chatted to Isidora, your incoming LGBT+ Rep (Mile End) for 2021-22
This month, we’ve been speaking to a few of your student representatives to get their thoughts on pride! This week we chatted to Isidora, your incoming LGBT+ Rep (Mile End) for 2021-22
What does Pride mean to you?
When it comes to the month of June being pride month itself, it is important to stress that Pride is not rainbow capitalism – although it is cute to see all of these companies embrace the rainbow, pride is way more than an aesthetic. Pride to me is the ability to celebrate such a diverse range of identities freely and unapologetically. No matter our background, culture, the colour of our skin or the size of our clothes, Pride will always be the one thing uniting us no matter how different we might seem on the surface.
Pride is acknowledging everyone and everything that paved the way for us to be where we are today. It represents every single pioneer who tirelessly fought for our rights to freely love who we love and be who we are. It represents Stonewall, the London Gay Liberation Front and many other organisations that still keep making tremendous impact in improving the rights of the LGBT+ community worldwide.
Who is one of your LGBTQ+ role models and why?
I immerse myself in queer culture to a great extent, so there are a lot of artists, activists and other figures that I look up to. However, seeing Lil Nas X’s journey unfold in the public eye has made me able to extremely relate to him as it was quite rare to see a queer person my age make such an impact on society – being an openly gay black man that came out right at the peak of his career and embracing his queerness through his art has inspired many queer teens and young adults worldwide.
The Black Lives Matter movement has made me aware of the additional struggles that the black members of our community face, and having someone like him on the forefront of both the BLM and the LGBT+ movement shows the importance for all oppressed groups to stand together in the name of liberation.
Why did you decide to run for LGBT+ rep?
In the two years that I had been at Queen Mary, I have had the opportunity to meet various other LGBT+ students and one thing we all had in common is feeling a bit lost within the university, especially concerning issues regarding our identities. Therefore, I have made it my goal to be the voice for all of my LGBT+ peers by establishing communication with as many queer students as I can and hear all of their issues and concerns in order to make the University a safer space for all of us.
Additionally, I would love to see Pride and everything LGBT+ people and culture are all about celebrated a bit more at Queen Mary. Although we have came a long way, there is still a lot of more work to be done for the community – I would love to be able to educate the students about how to support the most underrepresented parts of our community, such as people of colour, trans people and people with various disabilities.
What advice would you have for any incoming LGBT+ people who are starting at Queen Mary in September?
They are not lying when they say that your University days are the best time of your life – although it can be quite daunting for most people starting out, especially if you’re an LGBT+ person, you’ll get used to it way quicker than expected and enjoy every step of the process. There is quite a large queer community at Queen Mary and simply joining various societies, participating in events and getting yourself out there will help you find your tribe in no time!
Myself, as an LGBT+ representative, along with the rest of the University and Students Union are there to ensure that all of our students can be freely and unapologetically themselves. At Queen Mary, we are extremely proud of celebrating our differences and there is a zero tolerance policy for any type of homophobic and transphobic behaviours and as your representative, I am always there to ensure that queer students are able to safely and comfortably enjoy their time here.
Finally, how will you be celebrating Pride Month this year?
As the ongoing pandemic is still far from over, even if certain Pride events do take place in person I don’t think it would be very responsible and safe for me to attend. However, as we all have learnt during this past year, there are various things that can be done simply from the comfort of your own home.
Some of the things I have planned out for this June are enjoying the classics such as Drag Race and Queer Eye, educating myself on various issues concerning our community, especially the struggles that black and trans people within it go through and spreading awareness on all of my social media platforms as much as I can.
I encourage every single one of you to try and do the same, whether you identify as a part of the community or not, as it’s of key importance to acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of LGBT+ equality worldwide and that change can start from us.