— Western University (@westernu) July 19, 2016
On Tuesday, Western raised the Pride Flag above campus during a ceremony at noon on Concrete Beach. The flag will fly through the weekend. Originally designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, the flag is a symbol of the gay and transgendered community.
This is the first time the university has flown the Pride Flag.
“I am just so happy we can show our support for the LGBTQ community in this way. Western is committed to celebrating and nurturing our diversity. And this is a part of that,” said Larissa Bartlett, Director (Equity and Human Rights Services). “A lot of people came together to make this happen.”
In London, Western joins other institutions, like London Police Services, the City of London and Fanshawe College, in flying the flag in celebration of Pride Week.
“London is doing so much this year – the flags, the rainbow crosswalk, London Pride Festival and parade,” Bartlett continued. “We realize we are part of this community – we want to be part of this celebration both inside and beyond our Gates.”
Also this weekend, Western will participate in the 2016 London Pride Parade, 12:30 p.m. Sunday in downtown London. This is the university’s third year as a sponsor of the event.
Western faculty, staff, students and alumni will join together to form a ‘Purple Wave’ and walk in the parade as members of an over-arching Western contingent. The group will include members marching under the banners of, among others, the Western Queer Caucus, Pride Western, University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA), University of Western Ontario Staff Association (UWOSA), University Students’ Council (USC), Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) and Professional Managerial Association (PMA).
Women’s Studies and Feminist Research professors Wendy Pearson and Samantha Brennan are co-chairs of the Pride Parade Organizing Committee.