29th June 2022
All month we’ve been celebrating Pride Month, from our Safe Space Day barbering event to our Student Union Pride Day celebrations at the Arts Centre. It’s been a wonderful month celebrating diversity and inclusion, with our brilliant students leading the way.
First up was our Safe Space Day Event, organised by Chace-Jordan, one of our level 3 barbering students, and Paula Mcgraa, our level 2 and 3 barbering tutor, to promote gender inclusion in a barbering environment. Chace was inspired to put the event together because of his experiences in barber shops since transitioning:
“Since transitioning, it has been a common theme I see come up time and time again. Folks are saying how hard it is to get a haircut – how difficult it is to walk in a salon and just how many times folks have been turned away based on how they are presenting themselves.
“It can be soul destroying to be refused service, especially as lots of people deal with mental health difficulties – it can take a lot of courage to build yourself up to go into these places to then be told they won’t cut your hair. I figured there must be a better way, which is why I decided to organise this event.”
On the College’s role in the event, Paula said:
“We wanted to promote gender inclusion by offering a range of services, such as facials, hot towel face shaves, beard trims, head and face massage with high frequency or vibro machine, wig trims, specialist hair conditioning treatment, eyebrow trims and gender-neutral haircuts.
“As a college, we are incredibly proud to be working with our diverse group of students to create a safe space for everyone to be included.”
Next up was our Pride Day Celebration event, organised by our amazing Student Union. To kick off the morning, Christian Owens, from Gender Space, delivered a fascinating talk. Using his own personal, lived experiences as a gay trans male, Christian dedicates his life to helping audiences empathise and gain a greater understanding of the journey of transitioning, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in all environments.
Afterwards, we held a celebration morning at our Arts Centre building where there was cake, goodies, pronoun badges, tombola, and temporary tattoos for all to enjoy and get involved in. We were also joined by Axess Sexual Health Clinic, the free contraception and sexual health service for Liverpool, Knowsley, Cheshire, Cheshire East, Warrington and Halton who were with us all morning, promoting their free, confidential clinic at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
The turnout for the event was fantastic and the overall support received has been humbling. The day was filled with a great combination of education, thought-provoking conversation, fun and enjoyment all round.
Of course, Pride isn’t just a month-long event for us. We work hard all year round to ensure that the College is an environment where all can thrive and feel safe. We encourage our students to be their authentic selves, and with all that we do we have inclusivity and diversity at the core.
To that end, we want to give a big thank you to our Creative Media Production student, Jacob Reilly, who played a significant role in setting up True Colours, an LGBTQ+ group dedicated to providing a safe space for students who fall under the LGBTQ+ bracket, to go and make friends and be themselves. True Colours launched in June last year and provided students with a regular social group to attend and a space to feel comfortable being themselves.
You can read more about the True Colours social group here.
What a month of celebration it has been. Here’s to another year of learning, spearheading initiatives, progress and furthering our commitments to ensuring the College is an environment where all its people can thrive.