University welcomes Cornwall Pride flag to campus as it supports 50th Pride event in the Duchy

The University of Exeter, Cornwall is today hosting the Cornwall Pride flag at its campus in Penryn as part of its programme of support for the charity’s work to promote diversity, inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

The iconic 50m-by-10m flag, which is used at Pride events and parades, was unfurled outside Tremough House and flown with the help of a number of volunteers from the University.

It follows the holding of Falmouth Pride over the weekend, a landmark 50th event in the charity’s history and the first of this year’s Pride celebrations taking place across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Members of the University community and Kemeneth, the Cornwall LGBTQ+ Staff Network, took part in the celebrations, and will be supporting forthcoming events.

“Cornwall Pride is a powerful celebration of diversity, identity, fairness and social justice,” says Professor Martin Siegert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Cornwall and Chair of the Sexual Orientation Equality Group. “These themes sit at the heart of our University community, and we are truly honoured to have this magnificent Pride Flag on display at the campus. As a Civic University, and one celebrating its 20th anniversary here in Penryn, we are very proud to be part of the Cornish community in all its diversity.”

Cornwall Pride provides support, celebration and awareness of LGBTQ+ and marginalised communities across Cornwall, championing their values of ‘Love who you want to love’ and ‘Be who you want to be’.

The University of Exeter, Cornwall has sponsored Cornwall Pride since 2021, and this year, it enhanced that support to become a Silver Partner, providing a greater level of financial sponsorship for the programme of events.

“As CEO of Cornwall Pride and a member of the Cornish queer community, I am truly excited to see the University of Exeter, Cornwall’s continued support for diversity and inclusion through hosting the Cornwall Pride Intersex Progress Pride flag right after our 50th Pride event in Falmouth,” said Matthew Kenworthy-Gomes. “This highlights our shared commitment for a community where everyone feels included, valued, and celebrated, as we all take steps towards a Hate Free Cornwall sharing our values, ‘Love Who They Want To Love’ and ‘Be Who They Want To Be’.”

As part of the University’s commitment to diversity, the Penryn campus is also hosting a powerful exhibition marking the 20th anniversary of the repeal of the divisive and homophobic law, Section 28.

Section 28 of the Local Government Act was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1988, and prohibited local authorities from “promoting” homosexuality, and schools from teaching its acceptability as a family relationship.

The exhibition, Section 28 and its afterlives, showcases the oral histories of a dozen LGBTQ+ people from the South West and explores the ways in which the law blighted their lives both during its 15-year-enactment and through its legacy.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Section 28 and its afterlives has been developed by historians in the Department of Archaeology and History and was launched with a roundtable discussion with speakers from Cornwall Pride, Queer Kernow, and the Intercom Trust. It’s set to remain on display at the FXPlus Library until mid-May.

The launch of Section 28 and its afterlives: Hannah (Archaeology & History), Matthew (Cornwall Pride), Sophie (Queer Kernow), Steve (Intercom Trust), and Chris (Archaeology & History).

Beth Hall, EDI Projects Officer and Chair of Kemeneth, the LGBTQ+ Staff Network, added: “Kemeneth, The Cornwall LGBTQ+ Staff Network, is delighted to celebrate its and the University’s ongoing support of Cornwall Pride. Kemeneth is the Cornish word for ‘community’, and this collaboration with Cornwall Pride embodies our purpose: to celebrate our wonderfully diverse communities on our campuses and in Cornwall, and create a safe and welcoming environment for all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. We are thrilled to fly the incredible Cornwall Pride flag on our Penryn Campus and share our pride and visibility.”

You can find out more about the key priorities for the University’s Sexual Orientation Group and dedicated LGBTQ+ Action Plan on the website.