This day marks the anniversary of the removal of homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization in 1990. It will be the first time that Queen’s College raises the rainbow flag. Queen’s LGBTQ Representative Ashley Francis-Roy said he was “extremely pleased that the Governing Body has expressed its support.”
On 1st October 2012 Queen’s College’s JCR passed a motion that commissioned the JCR president and the LGBTQ representative to request the Governing Body to raise the rainbow flag.
Queen’s JCR President Jane Cahill believes that “flying the flag shows that The Queen’s College is supportive and welcoming to its LGBTQ minority, and is a good way of marking International Day Against Homophobia.
“The difference that marks people who identify as LGBTQ out from other minority groups is their lack of visibility, for unlike race, sex or ethnicity one’s sexuality is not something that is immediately apparent to both others and, indeed. to those people themselves.”
Francis-Roy added: “this means that not only does this particular minority group require extra representation; it also requires that in the form of visibility. That is why the rainbow flag evolved in the first place, and why cities and district around the world have embraced it to give their LGBTQ citizens greater visibility.”
The rainbow flag has been used by the LGBTQ movement since the 1970s and its colourful design is supposed to be a symbol of the diversity of the LGBTQ movement.
The flag will fly, clearly visible, from the pole at the entrance of The Queen’s College. Francis-Roy points out: “our prominent location on The High Street, immediately next to the gateway to London and many Oxford suburbs, would ensure that the whole city of Oxford knows that Queen’s is a welcoming and accepting college.”
In addition to raising the flag, Queen’s JCR is planning to hold an event on 17th May to mark the anniversary. Cahill was not able to confirm the details of the event yet, but assured The Oxford Student that “there will be Pimms.”