National Student Pride (NSP) is hastily approaching - a weekend of celebration, solidarity and unity. The tenth anniversary of National Student Pride is about to hit the University of Westminster, commencing on the 27th February until 1st March.
Pride is paramount. It is an extremely empowering emotion which can be associated with every aspect of life from your nationality to your ethnicity, your gender to your sexuality.
National Student Pride is important to each and every queer individual for their own personal reasons but I think that NSP is vital for young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, (LGBT) people as it can be the foundation for inspiration and motivation and it pushes young activists onward and forward.
The power of friendship and communication is overwhelming and NSP provides LGBT students from all over the UK a safe and secure environment to meet new people and develop new relationships. The greatly anticipated weekend is also very important with regards to educating as it is packed full of information of LGBT history (as it coincides with LGBT history month) and current LGBT issues students are still experiencing, such as homophobic hate on their university campus.
Although there are the Gay Pride events which run all over the UK in June, having a pride specifically for students is vital. Going to university is a milestone in anyone’s life, whether you have stay local to home or move 400 miles away- it’s intense and intimidating. As an LGBT person this can be an even scarier experience. But NSP provides a safe haven, an environment safe from hate and discrimination which is crucial to boost confidence and moral for students to show they are not alone.
In a time and age when gay rights are increasingly becoming a reality in many nations, National Student Pride still matters because there is still more work to be done. Looking back just by ten years we see how far LGBT people have come, that’s why NSP is so important- it’s a reminder of what’s been done, and a push to keep working toward full equality. We need full equality because others can’t always celebrate, international LGBT students and indeed UK students also, may come from situations whereby their rights and beliefs have been oppressed denying them the opportunity to be who they truly are.
National Student Pride recognises this and provides equal opportunities for all, no matter the background, to have a fantastic, liberating weekend of fun.
So it’s really not long now until National Student Pride weekend gets underway. Let’s all celebrate the importance of NSP and also the empowering effect of celebrating diversity, life and equality.
Pride matters; maybe not to everyone, but to us - LGBT students
And that’s all you really need.