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The Corporation

Posted: 15/05/15

Flying the flag for equality

A major campaign aimed at stamping out all forms of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia has been backed by West Nottinghamshire College.

College staff and students joined partners from a range of organisations in raising the Rainbow Flag to promote equality and tolerance

College staff and students joined representatives from public, private and voluntary sector organisations across Nottinghamshire in flying the Rainbow Flag at a ceremony at County Hall, West Bridgford, earlier this week (Monday 11 May).

It was held to mark the start of a week-long run of events leading up to the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – also known as IDaHoBiT – which is celebrated on Sunday (17 May).

The world-wide celebration of sexual and gender diversity commemorates the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation de-classified homosexuality as a mental disorder. The day has become a landmark for everyone who opposes prejudice and discrimination.

The flag-unveiling ceremony involved partners from the city and county councils, the police, fire and rescue service, ambulance service and Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner, Paddy Tipping.

It launched a series of events across the city and county including 100 Rainbow Flags being raised at locations including public buildings, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and businesses.

Flags have been proudly flying high at all West Nottinghamshire College sites, with its Derby Road campus in Mansfield also hosting the Nottinghamshire IDaHoBiT group meetings that helped organise the events.

College events included screenings of the film Pride and a competition to design a logo for the newly-formed student LGBT group.

Painting and decorating student Marc Jones, 20, who leads the college’s student LGBT group, said: “I was immensely proud to attend the ceremony at County Hall and represent the college on such a significant occasion.

“As a gay student myself, I think it’s great to see the college championing and standing up for LGBT rights. It sends out the positive message that discrimination is not acceptable and that everybody has the right to be themselves and be respected for who they are.”

The college is ranked amongst the top 20 gay, lesbian and bi-sexual friendly educational establishments in the UK by leading equality charity Stonewall.

Pictured flying the flag for LGBT rights at the ceremony at County Hall are (from left), Jane Hawksford, chair of the college’s staff LGBT network group; deputy chief constable Sue Fish; Marc Jones, student LGBT group leader; police community protection officer Richard Townsley, who chairs the Nottinghamshire IDaHoBiT group; and Paul Rana, the college’s representative on the group.