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.

DMU Valentine’s Day drag evening a success despite fire alarm scare

By Adam Rear

The De Montfort Students’ Union hosted a spectacular drag event on Friday (FEB14) which starred celebrity guests, such as Ru Paul’s very own Vinegar Strokes.

The event began shortly after 7pm with the first performer and host of the evening, Reign, warming the crowd.

Reign briefly wore a business suit and black angel wings before wowing the audience with her fishnet bodywear.

Drag artist Reign on stage performing her second lip-sync act

After her singing and lip-syncing, Reign welcomed to the stage the next act, however shortly after making it to the stage, the fire alarm went off.

Those attending the show were ushered urgently out of the building.

When outside, Reign, who stood around 7-feet tall in her large heeled boots, told everyone not to worry as it was the smoke machines that set off the alarm.

Within 10 minutes guests were back inside the building for the entertainment to continue.

Several drag acts followed before the intermission, such as Poppydom, Miceria McCollins and Minnie Milk. After they performed their dance routines, song and lip-syncing performances, the headline act Vinegar Strokes took to the stage.

Vinegar Strokes engaging with audience members in some back-and-forth banter

Vinegar Strokes incorporated elements from Ru Paul’s Drag Show into her routine, such as a lip-sync battle between members of the audience.

First year DMU student, Carmen, said: “I’ve been to drag nights before but this has been the best one yet.

“Ever since the UK Ru Paul Drag Race series came out, I loved how out-there Vinegar Strokes was so I was thrilled to see that she would be performing right on campus.

“Watching drunk audience members lip-sync against each other was one of the best moments of the night as they were so loose on stage.”

De Montfort Students’ Union hosts a ‘Voguing’ workshop for students and staff

By Adam Rear

As part of De Montfort University Pride Month, students and staff are being invited to have a go at Voguing.

The DSU Voguing Society welcomes students and staff to join in with their dancing and to spread positivity during Pride Month.

Voguing is a form of dance that pays homage to the Black and Brown queer community, which evolved out of the Harlem ballroom scene of the 1960s.

It gained mainstream media exposure when it was featured in Madonna’s song and video ‘Vogue’.

The event will take place on Friday(FEB21) in the Campus Centre from 12pm till 1pm, with no booking required.

Talk by Jack Monroe to take place at DMU tonight

By Emily Rooney

As part of the celebrations for LGBT+ history month at De Montfort University, Jack Monroe is preparing to talk to the students at the university later on this evening in collaboration with DMU Women and DMU Pride.

Monroe is a food writer, journalist and anti-poverty campaigner who first appeared in the public eye through the blog “A Girl Called Jack” (now renamed Cooking on a Bootstrap), and has also made appearances on national television to discuss poverty and food.

Their most recent book Veganish highlights plant-based recipes that are low-cost to make, and emphasises that even if you only incorporate a few more plant-based meals each week, the impact on the environment, as well as the cost of your weekly shop, would go down.

#DMUpride preview: #DMUPRIDE AT PHOENIX

By Oliver Taylor

The #DMUpride celebration will include a trip to Phoenix Cinema this Thursday (February 12) to watch Breakfast on Pluto.

De Montfort University is hosting the sixth annual #DMUpride celebration throughout LGBTQ+ history month.

Highlights include visits from Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK star Vinegar Strokes, Sunday Times bestselling author Jack Monroe and BBC personality Richie Anderson.

Breakfast on Pluto is a 2005 comedy-drama starring Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson. It tells the story of an abandoned baby who grows up to identify as a transgender and travels to London to find their mother.

The two-hour film starts at 6.15pm. More information can be found on DMU’s website.