The Royal Veterinary College in the UK decided to commemorate the end of LGBTI history month with a celebratory and rainbow-filled send-off, all thanks to a gay pastor at the school.
Revd. Andy Marshall, Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor to the Royal Veterinary College, led the event on 28 February.
‘It has been a joy to organise this event, to see and meet those staff and students who have found it meaningful,’ the openly gay pastor said.
‘I am indebted to the staff that helped make the event a success. My hope is that this will speak to those who are a part of under-represented communities – both inside and outside the College – and witness to our commitment to make the Royal Veterinary College a safe place for all to flourish.’
The visual installations were meant to honor LGBTI history month, as well as bring awareness to the school’s new LGBT+ Staff & Allies Network.
They consisted of sixty-four meters of fabric, eight meters each of the eight colours of the ‘People of Colour-inclusive’ rainbow flag.
The College Principal, Professor Stuard Reid, said of the day: ‘The RVC seeks to embrace diversity in all its manifestations, but today has been more than that. Joining with my colleagues and our students, it has been an opportunity to advocate and celebrate publicly our community as a place we can call home. #RVCisOpen for everybody!’
Ceri Chick, the Vice President for Welfare at the RVC Students’ Union, added: ‘The event was a marvelous opportunity for the RVC to celebrate its diversity in style, with the university coming together as one.’
An inclusive rainbow
First adopted by the city of Philadelphia in 2017, the flag is a variation of Gilbert Baker’s original rainbow flag. As the original adopters in Philadelphia explained, they expanded the flag ‘to highlight black and brown LGBTQIA members within the city’s community’.
Though not everyone champions the new and inclusive flag, more and more organizations and locations are adopting it.
Manchester Pride adopted it as their new official flag for all their events and promos.
A council in London also recently erected a new rainbow flag with a black stripe.