On 27 July 2019 nearly 2,000 people took part in West Lothian PRIDE at West Lothian College.
The college has hosted West Lothian PRIDE festival for five years now and I’m very proud that we are a partner in this important annual event.
I was invited to speak at the rally along with Deputy Council Leader, Kirsteen Sullivan, and James Morton from the Scottish Transgender Alliance. It was really special for me to take part in the event as I was approaching my first year anniversary as principal of the college and we had just recently achieved the LGBT Charter of Rights at Silver level.
The LGBT Charter of Rights is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Created by a group of LGBT young people and wider stakeholders, the Charter describes basic rights such as the right to be yourself, the right to privacy, be kept safe from harm, and the right to an education – rights that most people take for granted.
Being awarded the LGBT Charter makes a clear statement that equality and diversity are at the heart of West Lothian College. It sends a positive message that our college is a champion of LGBT inclusion where LGBT students, staff and visitors will be safe, supported and included.
At the PRIDE rally, Julia Vidania from LGBT Youth Scotland presented me with the college’s LGBT Charter Award. Joining me on stage for this presentation were our Student President and Vice President, Michelle Low and Gemma Reynolds, and Julia Simpson, the college’s learning and development officer.
Along with students like Becky, Emily, Mark and Calvin who helped set up the college’s LGBT A-Z Club, they have been instrumental in leading a wide range of training, initiatives and awareness raising activities across the college – all of which contributed to determining the level of Charter status we were awarded.
Staff and students at West Lothian College take part in annual events like PRIDE and LGBT History Month. While taking part in these yearly events is important, our rainbow flag flies proudly on our campus all year round, signalling our ongoing commitment to inclusion. We celebrate diversity, promote equality, and challenge hatred and discrimination every day, week and month.
Being awarded LGBT Charter Silver status is a fantastic testimony to the commitment of West Lothian College staff and students.
We know we can do more. We want to do more.
Our aspiration now is to go for Gold and send an even stronger message that we champion LGBT inclusion!
WELCOMING TO ALL | STUDENTS AT THE CENTRE | ALWAYS STRIVING FOR BETTER