Trinity College Student’s Union (TCDSU) held their annual Rainbow Week, focusing on promoting LGBT+ equality and inclusion, which began on Monday 5th November.
It is a campaign that is designed to celebrate the LGBT+ community in Trinity and create a stronger sense of belonging for these students across the Trinity campus.
Aaron Donnelly, LGBT Rights Officer in Trinity said that their aim for the week was to promote tolerance and acceptance: “The more people know about the community, the way the community lives and the things that we care about, the more they can relate and integrate LGBT+ people into their lives.”
Donnelly, a 2nd year Human Health and Disease student said that his focus Rainbow Week this year was on LGBT+ minorities, such as religious, racial or ethnic minorities and on lesser known identities in the gay community like non-binary or transgender.
Over 20 different events took place during Rainbow Week with TCDSU working alongside a number of different Trinity societies in order to include and engage with all of the student body.
These events included a ‘Géilí’ with Cumann na Gaelach followed by a discussion in Irish on LGBT+ issues. There was also a talk from the Literary Society on representation of gay the gay community in the media and number of film screenings.
In a press release from TCDSU, Paraic McLean, Communications and Marketing Officer emphasised the need for events like Rainbow Week, which promote inclusion and celebrate the LGBT+ community.
“It is incredibly important that we continue to facilitate Rainbow Week annually” said McLean, “Students feel that they cannot come out because they won’t be supported.”
Despite LGBT+ people becoming more visible and accepted in Irish society there is still a lack of understanding about more complicated issues like HIV.
“Ireland has seen an increase in people living with HIV and yet we aren’t funding PrEP, a drug that would prevent the spread of the virus,” said Mclean
He concluded that events like Rainbow Week benefit the LGBT+ students not just in Trinity but across the country especially when “on a nationwide level people look to what [Trinity] are doing and the campaigns that we are running,” said Donnelly, “I think it really does make people notice.”
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