UCLan takes pride in Rainbow Roses exhibition
Art exhibition explores queer self-expression
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has teamed up with a local LGBTQ+ community group to celebrate and explore queer self-expression.
Launched during Preston Pride Weekend, the Rainbow Roses exhibition invited members of the Lancashire LGBT Women and Non-Binary Peer Support Group to share personal experiences through art in an exhibition in UCLan’s Harrington Building Social Space.
The exhibition includes a large tapestry created by several group members with the message “Forget who they told you to be. Be who you were born to be” as well as drawings, paintings and a collage.
"Through this work we want to share queer joy and celebrate our community."
Beth Meadows, Support Worker from Lancashire LGBT set up the Peer Support Group during lockdown. She said: “Through this work we want to share queer joy and celebrate our community. We have established a beautiful partnership with UCLan and I am delighted that the University is supporting the local LGBTQ+ community and celebrating grassroots art.”
Artist Pixie Willow contributed a detailed drawing of their hand entwined with their wife’s to the exhibition. They said: “It represents our connection as a couple and our connection with the wider LGBTQ+ community. This is the first time I’ve exhibited my art work since college and I’m very proud of it.”
Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at UCLan Pradeep Passi said: “It’s really important that as a University we connect with the local community as events such as this prompt conversation which takes us further on our journey towards inclusivity. We are proud of our growing relationship with Lancashire LGBTQ+.”
"events such as this prompt conversation which takes us further on our journey towards inclusivity. We are proud of our growing relationship with Lancashire LGBTQ+."— Beth Meadows, Support Worker from Lancashire LGBTQ+
UCLan has also launched its online anti-discrimination toolkit for tackling online abuse directed at LGBTQ+ communities.
It aims to provide practical strategies to prevent the online discrimination directed at sexual and gender minorities and has been produced following consultations with these communities. The toolkit suggests ways in which users can protect themselves from online hostility, including protocols for reporting discrimination, as well as providing guidelines for social media sites owners, educators and police forces on how they can prevent such activity and support victims.
The toolkit has already attracted the national attention of, and been used by, various police forces, including Lancashire and Lincolnshire, schools, LGBTQ+ organisations Stonewall and Galop, and members of the LGBTQ+ community via social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok and Facebook.
"Our aim in creating this toolkit is to educate and empower people and organisations to identify, challenge, and prevent the online abuse experienced by different sexual and gender minorities."— UCLan sociology lecturer Dr Megan Todd and co-creator of the LGBTQ+ online inclusivity toolkit
UCLan sociology lecturer Dr Megan Todd has worked with colleagues from the University of Lincoln on the project. She said: “Our aim in creating this toolkit is to educate and empower people and organisations to identify, challenge, and prevent the online abuse experienced by different sexual and gender minorities.
“It’s fantastic to have the support of several flagship local organisations who have already added the toolkit guidelines to their own websites.”
The LGBTQ+ online inclusivity toolkit is available on the UCLan website.