There are hundreds of PRIDE events happening year round within the UK and all over the world. And Bath Spa isn’t one to miss out! Editor Amy Barrett reports on the LGBTQ+ events happening on campus in April 2018.
For the past three years Bath Spa has held its own PRIDE Festival in the award-winning Students’ Union, and this year is set to be even bigger and better. There will be spoken word poetry, a ‘Big Gay Quiz’ and an amazing lineup of acts at the main event on the 21 April, but to kick start the week the team are doing something never before seen at Bath Spa University…
The Bath Spa PRIDE March was organised by Rhian Pritchard (one of milk’s talented writers), referred to as a ‘little ace superstar’ by fellow team member George Cook. Rhian’s hard work paid off and she was overwhelmed by the support the march received, despite the slightly wet weather.
The march was followed by short speeches from key organisers of PRIDE 2018. The amount of effort put in by all involved was clear – around 120 volunteers every year work to make the events happen – and it was touching to hear the personal stories that make the team so dedicated to their cause. Nathan spoke about their first PRIDE experience, commenting “I could still count the number of people I was out to on maybe two hands… but being at pride was like the most validating form of secret rebellion”. George reminded us that PRIDE’s history is just as important as ever: “as a non-binary queer person I feel safe the majority of the time and accepted by my friends… but we can’t forget that Pride started off as a riot. We cannot forget that the rights we enjoy today have been fought for for centuries. As much as the Bath Spa Pride is a week to celebrate, it’s also a place to remember.”
After a huge round of applause from the audience and lots of hugging, we were all invited to the next event of the day: The Big Gay Quiz. Complete with LGBTQ+ themed questions, the quiz was hosted by members of the original BSU PRIDE team, Kate Jeanes and Kasha Pascoe. The questions were tough but the winners were deserving – the ‘A-spec-taculars’ went home with the prize.
The next event, PRIDE’s Spoken Word night, takes place on 17 April and offers students a space to speak out within a community that will listen. Returning thanks to its overwhelming popularity at last year’s PRIDE, George describes the Spoken Word night as ‘extremely personal and inclusive’.
Finishing the week of celebration is the PRIDE Main Event. Running on the 21 April, the event will be a whole day of fun and performance including a variety of acts such as pole dancers, bands and drag queens. Everyone is encouraged to attend and support the cause, and as with all events organised for this year’s PRIDE, proceeds will be donated to Off The Record.