Rainbow Flag to fly high at La Trobe

Wednesday 15 May will celebrate the diverse student population at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus when the raising of the Rainbow Flag kicks off a series of festivities to celebrate Pride Day.

Pride Day 2013 at La Trobe University Bendigo‘Pride Day acknowledges our diverse student population,’ says Robert Stephenson, Acting Director, La Trobe University Bendigo. ‘It is one of many ways we endeavour to provide a supportive and inclusive environment on campus for all our students.

‘We want our students to thrive, not just academically, but emotionally and socially.’

The day has special significance for La Trobe University’s GLBTIQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) students, who have struggled with many challenges.

After falling in love with a girl seven years ago, student Tennille Porter tried to hide her identity from her family and friends.

‘I never wanted to be different. My family always treated me like the perfect one. They had been through a lot and faced many challenges. They always protected me. The last thing I wanted to do was turn around and say “hey, I’m not perfect, I’m not normal.”

‘Now I am at the point that I am proud to share who I am and who my partner is.’

For student Jonathan Baird, Pride Day is about empowering the GLBTIQ community, which sometimes feels marginalised by wider society.

‘Pride Day is a time to reflect on where we are as a community, to celebrate how far we’ve come and continue the fight for full equality.’

‘Most importantly, it is about visibility. We are putting a face to the GLBTIQ identity. By doing this we make it far harder for people to be unpleasant, disparaging or dismissive, especially when they come face to face with us. This visibility for many is deeply empowering.’

Other La Trobe students want to celebrate the positive impact that members of the GLBTIQ community have had on their lives.

‘Both my mum and dad are gay,’ says Grace Warmuth. ‘This means I have two mums and two dads. Pride Day is a means to tell the world that I have been raised by two women and two men who have loved me unconditionally my entire life.

‘I have always been proud of my parents, of who they are and how they have raised me. They are the most amazing human beings I know. Without them I wouldn't be the person I am today.’

The action-packed day includes an Indigenous welcome by local didgeridoo soloist, Ron Murray, guest speakers, various GLBTIQ stall holders, Bollywood and Hip Hop dancing, and a special visit from well-known drag queen Rhubarb Rouge.

Students will be able to enjoy free foods such as hotdogs, fairy floss, fairy cakes, fairy bread and a barbecue prepared by a local Rotary club.

Media enquiries

Zerin Knight, Regional Media and Communications Manager (Acting)
T   + 61 3 5444 7375, M + 61 4 2846 3161

Tom O’Callaghan, Media Assistant
T   + 61 3 5444 7415 M + 61 4 08 900 469