Separate but together. De Montfort University keeps the spirit of Pride alive online honouring the idea of connectivity

By Molly Talbot

De Montfort University celebrated Pride month with a twist last month, after being forced to move online due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Despite being online, organisers tried to stay true to the theme of ‘connectivity’.

This year it was DMU’s seventh Pride celebration and although the start of 2021 was different to what may have been anticipated, the university made a tremendous effort to still make the event inclusive and enjoyable for those getting involved.

About 450 people attended the virtual Pride experience. There were opportunities to attend around 14 different events including, talks, mindfulness sessions and an online quiz.

There was also the addition of virtual Pride backgrounds and the use of filters to create more of a presence since the traditional handing out of T-Shirts and lanyards on campus had to be forfeited.

The chair of the LGBTQ+ network for De Montfort University, Dr Bethan Rogoyski, said: “I think celebrating Pride is of huge importance to the students and staff of DMU.

“The LGBTQ+ community is a huge part of that at DMU, and the Pride celebrations enhance visibility to make sure it’s clear that the LGBTQ+ populations are not only welcomed but valued and celebrated.”

The idea to put Pride online was partly due to the awareness that the lockdowns and following restrictions have had a major impact on the LGBTQ+ community particularly, and hosting the event online created a space for celebration, communication and conversations that are really important factors  of the community.

Dr Rogoyski added: “Whilst we are remote, we are using online spaces to communicate and meet, which has been great for keeping in touch and sharing mutual interests.”

There are several spaces also available at the university campus for members of the LGBTQ+ ( in addition to  any other networks) community to retreat to, such as the “Breathing space” in the Portland building. It is the university’s hope that the communities will feel comfortable using the spaces available – they are always open.

If you missed any of this year’s Pride events they are available for catch-up via the DMU-events YouTube page.

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