In the build-up to Brighton & Hove Pride this weekend, University of Sussex students and staff have been sharing their thoughts on this major annual event in the city’s calendar.
The 2019 Pride campaign is #WeStandTogether, a call to action for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to stand up to all types of discrimination including transphobia, biphobia, racism and homophobia.
Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell says: “The University of Sussex is proud to sponsor Pride , and aims to be an advocate for our LGBT+ community.”
And as part of this partnership, on Saturday (3 August) more than 50 Sussex students, staff and alumni are taking part in the Pride Community Parade. Many others will join local community organisations or line the route to watch the colourful spectacle.
Among those marching will be Priyadarshini Chitrangada, a Master’s student from India. She says: “I moved here right after my country decriminalised homosexuality and I’ve grown up as a queer kid, scared of the law and of the society.
“Brighton taught me to live freely and my support system at Sussex gave me courage to come out to my parents.
“It’ll be an honour and a pleasure to represent every queer brown femme from India who cannot walk for themselves because of social and cultural ostracism.”
These sentiments are echoed by another international student, who says: “It’s going to be my second Pride ever after London’s because in my country homosexuality is illegal and I’m gay and I never got to celebrate it before. I want to do that on behalf of all the Syrian LGBTQ community who don’t have the chance to participate in such events.”
Other Sussex students taking part in the parade include Marco Abousleiman and Talia Fogelman. “To me,” reflects Talia, “marching while representing Sussex is about showing that academia is not for one type of person. If you are LGBTQI+ you can still contribute to your academic environment, you can still thrive in academia.”
A great example of this is Dr Sharon Webb , a Sussex academic who is working to make sure that LGBTQ+ voices and other marginalised voices are safeguarded for the future historical record. To Sharon, Pride means a protest: “There are still LGBTQ+ rights that are being encroached on our doorstep. It’s not as if, hey it’s done. Because it isn’t.”
“We say we’re so open here, but don’t actually do as much as we could,” agrees John Gianni , a Sussex graduate who now works in Student Recruitment. He’ll be easy to pick out, carrying a sign that reads ‘Queer Liberation, not Rainbow Capitalism’.
If you would like to support the University of Sussex marchers, give them a cheer as they wend their way through the streets to Preston Park - you won’t be able to miss them in their pink t-shirts! The parade is due to start at 11am from Hove Lawns on the seafront.
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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Friday, 2 August 2019
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