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University of London celebrates LGBTQ+ life at the Pride in London parade 2019

For the first time, the University of London marched in the Pride in London parade, accompanied by staff and students from across the Federation as well as a 21 foot mortar board balloon.

Written by James Moore |

University of London pride contingent

Celebrating LGBTQ+ life in London

University of London marched in the Pride in London parade, accompanied by staff and students from across the Federation.

University of London staff posing in the selfie-board frame

Having a selfie

University of London staff coming together to celebrate LGBTQ+ life.

University of London pride contingent with mortar board balloon

Mortar board balloon

The 21ft mortar board balloon makes its way down Regent Street in Central London.

Spectators on the parade route inside the University of London selfie frame.

More selfies

Spectators on the parade route wanted a selfie too.

Mortar board balloon next to Nelson's Column in central London

Passing by Trafalgar Square

The mortar board balloon passes by Nelson's Column at the world-famous Trafalgar Square.

The University of London joined over 1m people in central London that turned out to celebrate the annual Pride Parade. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary since the birth of the modern LGBT+ rights movement that started with the Stonewall Uprising in New York City in 1969.

Organised alongside member institutes from across the Federation, the contingent was made up of 75 people and included those from Institute of Cancer Research, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, SOAS University of London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & City, University of London.

The University marched alongside colleagues and friends from Birkeck University of London, UCL and London School of Economics. For the first time, a total of 16 London based Higher Education Institute’s walked in the same section of the parade to show common commitment to LGBT+ equality.

Staff and students walking in the London Pride parade.
Staff and students from across the Federation come together to support London Pride 2019.

Tens of thousands people lined the parade route, showing their support for the University by wanting their photo taken in the custom selfie boards and giving words and cheers of encouragement. 

Mark Harrison, Head of Inclusion, who coordinated the University of London’s contingent said:

The enthusiasm and energy from the walkers on the day was fantastic and cheers from the crowd added to the electric atmosphere as well as wanting photos with our selfie-boards and with our balloon. It is so important for the University to be involved in the Pride in London parade - University is often the first place that young LGBT+ people are able to be themselves and we took part to demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and equality.

Chris Cobb, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Operations, who joined the parade contingent, said:

I’ve been to many Pride celebrations but this was the first in which I took part in the parade what a wonderful way to commemorate 50 years of Stonewall. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in feeling huge pride for how far the LGBQT community have come in 50 years but still huge concern for those LGBQT people who live in less liberal societies. I should also add the pride I felt for the University’s cross-federal participation in the parade. What a fabulous way to spend the day!

Post-Parade after party at Student Central

Student Central hosted their very first Post-Parade after party which was a fantastic evening of drag queens, camp tunes and rainbow balloons. The event was well supported from staff and students across a wide range of London universities, with the aim of bringing together our community in the spirit of inclusion, equality and celebrating diversity.

We are already looking forward to planning next year's party.