Last Friday evening, the LGBTQ Society addressed a packed-out Marten Library on the topic of LGBTQ rights and Eton’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming space for all in our community
A variety of speakers, teachers and boys alike, provided fascinating personal insight into the various struggles of the LGBTQ community over the past 30 years. A performance of Another Country also depicted some of the challenges faced by LGBTQ people, a timely reminder for those in attendance of the need for acceptance and kindness in their conduct with peers.
Many teachers reflected on their past experience of discrimination and a lack of acceptance for LGBTQ people. Indeed, multiple speakers remarked that they could not have stood up and spoken honestly about their identity when they were growing up due to Section 28, the act passed in 1988 which prohibited the promotion and discourse of homosexuality in schools.
Personal reflections revealed the social damage done by the ban against gay people serving in the army, and the impact of coming out to a conservative family.
The honesty, humility and dignity of the speakers was a testament to the society’s message, that we must celebrate the progress that has been made, and continue to campaign for more.