It is the first time the flag has been flown over Old Schools, at the centre of the University's administrative officesJoe Cook

The rainbow flag was raised for the first time today over the Old Schools, which house University Offices including that of the Vice Chancellor, to mark the beginning of LGBT+ History Month.

The Old Schools now join the ranks of all Cambridge colleges and many University departments and institutions, including the University Library, in displaying the rainbow flag to support LGBT+ History Month.

St. Catherine’s College was the first college to fly a rainbow flag in 2014, in honour of its alumni and famous actor Sir Ian McKellen, who has campaigned for LGBT+ rights for decades.

Vice Chancellor Stephen Toope said: “I hope that flying the rainbow flag over the Old Schools will send out a message that we are committed to helping create a society where everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is able to reach their full potential.”

“Our university comprises a diverse range of nationalities, religions and opinions. Many of our members come from countries in which to be openly LGBT+ would result in discrimination, violence, imprisonment or even execution.”

LGBT+ History Month increases the visibility of LGBT+ people and educates on the history of gay rights and civil rights movements, as well as raising awareness of the prejudices still faced today.

Dr Miriam Lynn, Equality and Diversity Consultant for the University, commented: “It’s wonderful to see so much support for LGBT+ History Month across the University and its Colleges. This year’s nationwide theme is Poetry, Prose and Plays.

Flags can be seen flying over Cambridge from Corpus Christi, the University press, and St Catherine's Joe Cook

“Cambridge LGBT+ alumni have made a huge contribution in these fields, from playwrights such as Christopher Marlowe and writers including EM Forster and Ali Smith through to acting giants such as Sir Ian McKellen and Miriam Margolyes.”

A variety of events will take place in Cambridge to celebrate the month, including talks, museum tours and a movie premiere.


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One event, organised by Newnham College, will bring together activists, artists and academics to create “a map of safer routes and spaces for LGBTQI+ people in Cambridge″.

There will also be LGBT+ related talks on themes including gay rights and queer parenthood.

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