This month we’re celebrating Pride Month, which annually marks the contribution of the LGBTQIA+ community to the world – and to Activate Learning.
You may have noticed our logo has been given a small makeover to reflect the rainbow colours. Please do join us for #ActivatePride.
What is Pride Month?
June is Pride month – a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities across the world.
This year’s Pride Month marks the 51-year anniversary of the first Pride event in the UK. Despite June being Pride Month, many UK events are held throughout July, August and September.
Pride Month is usually celebrated with big parades, marches and events. The month brings communities together and champions acceptance and equality.
Pride celebrates the work of LGBTQIA+ people and their history. It also raises awareness of issues faced and how far LGBTQIA+ rights have come. Unfortunately, there’s still work to be done in some places.
It is all about being proud of who you are no matter who you love. It also calls for people to reflect on the damage homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and acephobia can cause.
Pride Month is celebrated in June as this was the month that the Stonewall riots took place. These protests are an important part of history and influenced LGBTQIA+ rights globally.
Activities during Pride Month at Activate Learning
Across our campuses, you’ll find Pride decorations, awareness campaigns and posters. We’ll also be hosting some exciting events.
Throughout Pride Month, there will also be a selection of workshops and visitors coming on-site to talk about LGBTQIA+ topics.
Our Student Enrichment Officer will have a stall at Bracknell Forest Pride.
Speak with your local Student Enrichment Officer to learn more about activities and support for LGBTQIA+ students in Berkshire.
Staff and students will represent Banbury and Bicester College and City of Oxford College at Oxford Pride 2023. Students and staff will take part in the main parade with branded t-shirts and Activate Learning banners.
Speak with your local Student Enrichment Officer to learn more about activities and support for LGBTQIA+ students in Oxfordshire.
Speak with your local Student Enrichment Officer or Head of Campus Student Experience to learn more about activities and support for LGBTQIA+ students in Surrey.
You can find a selection of LGBTQIA+ resources for students on Activate Learning Online (ALO).
You can also join the LGBTQIA+ Club. The LGBTQIA+ Club is a gathering where you can feel safe and have fun. We encourage healthy discussions around LGBTQIA+ issues and everyone is welcome. Intolerance will not be accepted. We aim to be part of Pride celebrations and increase acceptance and tolerance across all campuses.
Pride Month events outside of college
There are plenty of Pride Month events in our local communities too!
Bracknell Forest Pride 2023 is on Saturday 10 June from 12–7pm in Bond Square.
Wokingham Pride 2023 is on Saturday 8 July from 11.30am. The parade starts at the Town Hall for pictures before making its way down to Elms Field at around midday for a family friendly picnic. This event is free and everyone who supports the aims of Pride are welcome.
Reading Pride’s Love Unites Parade and Festival 2023 is on Saturday 2 September from 12pm at Kings Meadow. Love Unites includes a parade and entertainment across three stages. In addition, there’s a funfair, family area and food, drink and market stalls.
Oxford Pride 2023 is on Saturday 3 June from 10am–7pm in the Oxford Castle Quarter, Castle Street.
Bicester Pride 2023 is on Saturday 9 September from 12–10pm. Enjoy a fun and family friendly weekend, with entertainment, stalls, and local food and drink.
Banbury Pride 2023 is still awaiting confirmation.
Support for LGBTQIA+ students at Activate Learning
Activate Learning offers dedicated individual and group support for LGBTQIA+ students at our colleges. We work closely with community networks and clubs to offer as extensive support as possible.
Student Support and Safeguarding
Our Student Support and Safeguarding team are here to ensure you are supported and feel safe on campus. We continue to train and upskill our staff to better support all students at our colleges. They can also facilitate referrals as required to other services in the community.
The Student Support team is easily reached if you have any questions or concerns. You can call them on 01865 550 401 between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The role of Student Enrichment Officers at Activate Learning is to help make college life on campus and online a fun, inspiring, and enjoyable place to be for all our students.
They are on hand to support the Students’ Union, Student Representatives and improve the campus experience.
Throughout the academic year, the Student Enrichment team celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community with a range of events.
We have LGBTQIA+ clubs and groups at each of our campuses. Anyone that identifies in the LGBTQIA+ community or as an ally will be welcome to join. These student-led societies meet to offer support, fundraise for charities and events, and organise events for the community in college.
If you are interested in coming along to a meeting or joining the society, please speak to your local Student Enrichment Office or Head of Campus Student Experience. Here’s how to contact them:
- Banbury and Bicester College – Chloe Bowker at email@example.com.
- Bracknell and Wokinhgam College – Ashley Seymour at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- City of Oxford College – Charlotte Peake at Charlotte.Peake@activatelearning.ac.uk.
- Farnham College – Head of Campus Student Experience, Neil Brookes at Neil.Brookes@ActivateLearning.ac.uk and Deputy Head of Campus, James Jagger at James.Jagger@ActivateLearning.ac.uk.
- Guildford College – Alfie Roberts at email@example.com.
- Merrist Wood College – Liz Marsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reading College – Head of Campus – Student Experience, Charlotte Morgan at email@example.com.
Support outside of college
Activate Learning work alongside numerous charities in the UK that support our LGBTQIA+ students. These include:
Switchboard offer a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional wellbeing.
Mermaids supports transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care. Mermaids offers web chat support to students up to the age of 25, a wide range of events and recruitment of volunteers.
Other local support groups near you include:
- My Umbrella
- LGBTQ+ Youth Group (Tuesday evenings) – a successful youth group which runs off-campus for anyone identifying at LGBTQ+. This is a safe, accepting space to have fun and seek advice and support. This group is run by Bracknell Forest Council and has a ‘closed door’ policy so please speak to your Student Enrichment Officer for details.
- Topaz Oxford– local support group and social group
- LGBT+Oxon– community support group and local events
- TransOxford – local transgender support group
- First Sunday – an inclusive Christian fellowship for LGBT people. Based at St Columba’s United Reformed Church, you don’t have to be LGBT or Christian to attend.
- Oxford Pride – Annual Pride parade in Oxford.
What can I do to better understand the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community?
If you’re looking to better understand the LGBTQIA+ community, there are plenty of free resources to learn more. These include the internet, books, magazines, podcasts, films, TV shows, influencers and pioneers. You could also attend a Pride celebration in your local area.
LGBTQIA+ TV series
Here are some TV series we recommend that explore LGBTQIA+ people:
- It’s a Sin on Channel 4 and Netflix
- Heartstopper on Netflix
- Pose on Amazon Prime
- Queer as Folk on Channel 4 and Netflix
- Queer Eye on Netflix
- Feel Good on Netflix
- The Ultimatum Queer Love on Netflix
Here are some documentaries we recommend that explore LGBTQIA+ people:
- Watch The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson on Netflix
- Disclosure on Netflix
- Watch Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story on Netflix
- Paris is Burning
Here are some films we recommend that explore LGBTQIA+ people:
- Watch Boys Don’t Cry on Prime Video
- Watch Soldier’s Girl on Prime Video
- Watch The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on Prime Video
- Watch In a Year with 13 Moons on Prime Video
- Watch Boy Meets Girl on Prime Video
- Watch Super Deluxe on Netflix
- The history of the Pride movement in the UK
- – LGBT+ History Month (lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk)
- What is Transgender Awareness Week? | Why do we celebrate it
- National Coming Out Day