The 25th USI Pink Training took place in University College Cork from November 25th – 27th.
Pink Training is the largest student training event organised by USI and it brings together students from 24 colleges all over Ireland.
It facilitates workshops aimed at students interested in learning about their sexuality and gender identity and enables them to promote education, inclusion and understanding about the LGBTQ community.
23 members from DCU LGBTA attended Pink Training including DCU SU welfare officer, Cody Byrne. A new addition to the annual event is a ‘Lip Sync Battle’ which is being promoted as a non-alcoholic icebreaker between all the colleges. The event is being credited to DCU LGBTA Chairperson, Melissa Kavanagh.
When questioned about her previous Pink Training experience, Kavanagh said “When I first came to Pink Training in first year I didn’t know the terms for being Trans, I didn’t know anything outside of being lesbian or gay but the knowledge I got that weekend really helped me. It really motivated me to get involved in the student union and to be more engaged in DCU as well.”
“This year’s Pink Training had the largest lineup.” said USI’s Vice President for Equality & Citizenship, Síona Cahill, “It’s packed with 40 speakers and 51 workshops, with an incredible range of speakers and material being covered. Brand new additions to the lineup include workshops around being LGBT and having a disability, developing public speaking skills, getting involved in politics, dating as a trans person, as well as seminars detailing experiences around HIV as well as discussions relating to PrEP in Ireland.”
When asked about the importance of the weekend, Kavanagh said “I think it’s really important for the LGBT students to have their own space. While they can all be in their own LGBT societies, to have an event that brings all the societies together makes them a minority in a majority.”
Some of the weekend’s speakers were, Director of Amnesty International Colm O’Gorman, Senator Jerry Buttimer, Former Mr Gay Ireland and HIV activist Robbie Lawlor, Creator of Ireland’s ‘Bliss’ festival Beth Wallace, and GLEN’s ‘LGBT Role Model of the Year’ Dena Lawrence, from Microsoft.
Image Credit: USI