The rainbow flag has been the international symbol for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities and social movements around the world since the 1970s.
Dr Joseph Brooks, Chair of the University’s LGBT Staff Network and Lecturer in Psychology, said: ‘This day is being marked globally to remember those who suffer from homophobia and transphobia. 17 May (celebrated on the 16th this year at Kent) is significant because it was the date that homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organisation in 1990.’
Members of the University’s LGBT Staff Network were present from 11am-2pm across from Essentials Campus Shop to distribute information and raise awareness about the day and the role of the LGBT Staff network.
Jo Pearsall, one of the LGBT network’s straight allies, said: ‘It is important for non-LGBT people to be involved in tackling homophobia. Make it widely
known that you are supportive and don’t tolerate inappropriate behaviour or conversations in the workplace.’
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, who serves as the university’s equality and diversity champion for LGBT and women’s issues, said: ‘The University is proud of its record in supporting our LGBT Staff Network as it works to raise awareness of the issues still facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace and worldwide.’
‘The Network has achieved a great deal since it was formed to represent LGBT staff and this event will contribute to raising its profile even more.’