Imperial staff and students marched on the colourful streets of London to celebrate LGBTQ+ rights at the annual Pride parade.
Imperial joined more than 30,000 people from 600 groups, organisations and businesses at the Pride in London parade. This year’s theme was Pride Jubilee, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York – a turning point in the modern gay rights movement.
Imperial 600, the College’s LGBTQ+ network for staff and postgraduate students, co-ordinated the College’s entry into the parade. This year the Imperial cohort was made up of 69 people, and included Leila Guerra, Associate Dean of Programmes in the Business School. Imperial 600 also raised £395 for the Albert Kennedy Trust.
Celebrating the journey so far
Caz Ulley, co-Chair of Imperial 600, said: “With news that offences have doubled against gay and lesbian people, and trebled against trans people since 2014, we felt it was more important than ever for the College to confirm its support for our LGBTQ+ staff and students by being represented at the Pride in London parade.
“Marching at the parade was a celebration of how far we have come, but also a reminder that the 50 years of protest year marked this year are not yet over. That’s why we were proud to take to the streets, stand up and be counted.
“It was also great to have so many allies with us on the day, as a reminder that we can’t do this alone. We’re really lucky to have so many allies making up Imperial 600 who are proud to wear a rainbow lanyard as a sign of their support – so much so that we’ve now nearly reached the 600 in our name.”
Rainbow bench unveiled
In a further show of support for Pride and the LGBTQ+ community at Imperial, the College also unveiled a rainbow bench on the South Kensington Campus, which was painted by artist Jay Barnham.