On 1 February, LGBTQ+ Officers Emma Klahr and Cameron Smith, and Head Porter Russ Holmes climbed the many stairs to the top of the Waterhouse Building to raise the rainbow flag for the first day of LGBTQ+ History Month.
This is the fourth year Caius has raised the flag, joining Colleges across Cambridge in celebrating diversity within Cambridge. This demonstration of solidarity is focused on increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, their history, experiences, and contributions to society, throughout this LGBT history month.
The flag is just the beginning of LGBTQ+ awareness at Caius in February. Throughout this month, Emma will distribute rainbow flags and LGBT+ related historical facts to students. She is also planning a movie night and a hot chocolate social in College.
Following on from last year, Caius Fellow Tam Blaxter and a group of students and staff at the University have organised a series of free LGBTQ+ History Month events across Cambridge. The series, entitled CamQueerHistory, explores the lives of LGBTQ+ people in history.
According to Tam, “LGBTQ+ History Month is such a valuable opportunity to bring people together - both activists and academics, people who are steeped in queer topics and people who are completely new to them!"
On 19 February, Jonah Coman from Glasgow School of Art will deliver a talk at Caius called Queer(y)ing the past: Rediscovering gender non-conforming narratives in the middle ages. The talk will shed light on queer practitioners in the medieval church. Also speaking at Caius is Cambridge student Lee Colwill, who will look at queer themes in Norse Mythology.
On 22 February, English Lecturer at the University of Sussex, Evan Hazenberg will be speaking in the Bateman Room on lesbian identities in New Zealand.
"In terms of queer rights, we've come a long way and yet have so much further to go - LGBTQ+ History Month is important to me as a time for taking stock, a time to look both backwards on the challenges we've overcome and forwards towards the work that still needs doing," said Tam.
The full CamQueerHistory programme can be found at http://camqueerhistory.co.uk/