The Edinburgh University Students’ Association has apologised after posting a heavily criticised Instagram story which suggested incorporating LGBT+ history month into the decoration of pancakes.
The post, which has now been deleted, proposed that students “combine celebrations of Pancake Day with LGBT+ History Month to add some sparkle to (their) February,” and featured a picture of pancakes in various colours of the rainbow.
The University of Edinburgh’s PrideSoc described the post as “tone deaf`”and indicated that it failed to communicate the importance of the month.
When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the Students’ Association said:
“Last week we launched a campaign on Instagram which linked LGBT+ History Month with Pancake Day.
“We were trying to find new ways to educate our members about the LGBT+ community but having listened to your feedback we realise now that was a mistake, and our actions trivialised the important message of LGBT+ History Month.
“We’ll be continuing to mark the month by sharing historical and contemporary LGBT+ figures, as well as the important work of our LGBT+ and Trans and Non-Binary Officers to create a more inclusive university community.”
Several events have been organised by the university and various societies to celebrate this month.
A talent show hosted by PrideSoc, for example, will take place online on the 25 February, and will raise money for Small Trans Library Glasgow.
The university will host a variety of talks and Q&A sessions via Zoom, notably an event on the 17 February which will discuss the advancement of trans rights in the legal system.
Wider national events have also been planned to mark this month and seek to encourage engagement within the community.
Over 1,500 events have been planned throughout the month, including quizzes such as “The Big Queer Quiz,” screenings of popular media and group discussions.
The theme for 2021 is “Body, Mind, Spirit.”
As part of LGBT+ history month, the UK government has announced plans to return medals to servicemen and women who were previously dismissed from their posts and lost their medals as a result of their sexual orientation.
Writing in the Independent, minister for veterans Johnny Mercer condemned the policy, only lifted in 2000, that required those in the military who were gay to face a “dishonourable discharge.”
Mercer stated, “it’s time to make amends for that unenlightened chapter in our history once and for all,’ and vowed to ‘restore the respect of all those wronged individuals.”
LGBT+ history month was first established in the US in 1994 and was adopted by various countries across the world.
It aims to raise awareness of the struggles for equality faced by members of the LGBT+ community throughout history, and to highlight the voices of prominent LGBT+ people in the media.
In the UK, LGBT+ history month was established in 2005 by two teachers and is celebrated in February.
In recent years, it has been linked to a subject on the national curriculum, in order to encourage awareness in young people.