London Student

Student Pride 2017: 20 people on what pride means to them

Arif Adam, Diversity Role Models

“Pride for me is about visibility, which is really important to me because when I was younger, being a gay, Asian Muslim didn’t exist. I felt like was I the only one. I didn’t think it was something that I could be, because I didn’t know it existed.

“I work for Diversity Role Models because it’s really important for me to go into schools and talk to other young people and tell them that being LGBT that isn’t just something that you are if you’re white. It’s something that you are if you’re black or muslim or jewish or catholic or anything – it doesn’t matter.

“There’s so much intersectionality in the world and to be LGBT is not just the one thing about you. There are many other things, and for me pride is about being proud of all of those different aspects of yourself.”

Olly Alexander; frontman, Years & Years

“For me pride means celebrating your identity and who you are”

King, student

“It means that you’re free to be true to yourself and be who you are and unleash all the boundaries that you have experienced in life.”

Tom, Cian and Sean, Warwick Rowers

Tom: “Pride is about including everyone”
Cian: “Pride is about being proud of the person that you want to be and feeling confortable with it”
Sean: “Pride is about acceptance and inclusion for everyone, everyone feeling confortable with who they are”

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Director and Co-Founder of UK Black Pride

“Pride is a movement that is political. It’s a celebration of LGBTQ+ people, and it’s also a way of people coming together in a safe space to ensure that they can look at how they challenge homophobia, racism, misogyny, sexism, within the LGBT community and outside.”

Olly Pike and George Hankers, Pop‘n’Olly (LGBT+ education for children and schools)

George: To me Pride is about remembering the history of where we came from because we’re quite privileged today. LGBT people are far more accepted now than they used to be, so it’s nice to remember the journey we’ve come on and the journey we’re still on so that’s why I like Pride”

Olly: “LGBT+ education is really important because it reflects LGBT+ people in a positive way and it also helps children who perhaps feel that they’re different in some way know that it’s okay to be yourself and that you’re accepted. And it’s also a comfort for some of those children who are potentially on a journey, whether on a transitioning sort of journey or wheter it’s something else, it’s also providing comfort for them by reflecting their situation.”

Ant and Lawrence, Terrence Higgins Trust

Ant: “Pride means to me being able to be yourself and it doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, you should be able to feel comfortable to be exactly who you are.”

Lawrence: “I think Pride means that everyone should have equal rights, no matter who you love, no matter what you like to do, you know that you’ve got the same rights as everyone else and that the government should also be giving you the same rights.”

Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow

“Pride is really important. It’s a statement of power, the power of saying everybody needs to live their life in freedom, without fear. And I support Pride because I want to lend my voice to how important it is to live in a world where everyone is free to be who they want to be. I want to live in that world, it seems to me a better world than one where people are afraid.”

Imogen Andrews, Bromo Ltd

“To me Pride is having pride in yourself; being unapologetically yourself – I think it’s the right phrase. If someone doesn’t like you because of who are you then there’s absolutely no point, they’re not worth your time. Homophobia is everywhere, what’s the point in for example, being friends with someone for 6 months and then find out that they’re homophobic?”

Jodie Marsh, model and bodybuilder

“Pride for me is a really positive, really happy thing, where lots and lots of people get to celebrate who they are. So it’s about acceptance and it’s about normalising things which, in the past, were not seen as particularly normal, and it’s about just being yourself, being proud, being able to speak openly and be open, free and who you are.”

Rhiann, Ashley, Natalie, and Moerem

Rhiann: “To me Pride means everything. I never really had much pride when I was younger so to now have it in uni is nice, it’s good.”
Ashley: “Pride means that people should accept you no matter who you are, what you look like, who you love. Everyone will be accepting and you will not get any judgmental lurks anywhere, that’s what it means to me.”
Natalie: “Being in the same as everyone else and being comfortable and feeling at home, that’s what it is”.
Moerem: “Being accepted in an environment in where people are so friendly and what not, as a straight person I’m quite happy and proud to be here, because I feel like the LGBT+ community is very friendly and accepting.”

Sub Lieutenant Kevin Cabra Netherton and ET Rob Morrison

Lieutenant Kevin: “Pride means being proud of who you are and not changing for anybody else. Regardless of what you are, it does not matter, your personality, your characteristics, what you’re into you or what you’re not, regardless of sexuality or gender, or your interests. That’s what pride means.”

Rob Morrison: “Being who you are, anywhere you are. Being able to not shy away from who you truly believe you are, not photoshopping your everyday personality.”

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