The Student interviewed Delphi Macpherson, the Students’ Association’s LGBT+ Officer, to hear her thoughts about LGBT+ History Month at the University of Edinburgh.
What is your vision for LGBTQ+ History Month?
My vision is to have an LGBT+ History Month that encompasses every student’s narrative and gives reference and time to everyone’s identity. Therefore, there are lots of different events from different perspectives.
Why do you think this is important?
It’s important to acknowledge that marginalised voices have been silenced throughout history and that we, the LGBT+ community, have not been given any space to recount our own history.
Do you think the university is doing enough to recognise the challenges LGBTQ+ people are facing here and elsewhere in the world?
No, if the University of Edinburgh was doing enough I would not have the position as LGBT+ Officer. Despite this, however, the Students’ Association is definitely doing a lot and is, arguably, pursuing an LGBT+ lens. They have helped me do the Crush night, which is the weekly LGBT+ night held at the Students’ Association.
I feel like academia don’t see the challenges that LGBT+ people are facing as important, as they don’t value or recognise them as much as other teachings. At the moment, the Students’ Association’s LGBT+ team is setting up a queer course. There are no undergraduate courses currently that study queer theory. Similarly, there wasn’t even a course about gender theory before last year, which is now running under the title Gender in the Contemporary World. How is it that the University of Edinburgh is only starting to run courses like this in 2017? Hopefully, as least, by 2019, this will be available to the students at the university. Even then, there won’t be any Honours courses on the topic. The university is not doing enough.
What is your favourite event of the month and why?
Our main celebratory event is on Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be a club night and is run in association with BLOGS, FreshAir and Amnesty International. It should be very good because you get to dress up as your favourite queer icon and then all the proceeds are going to go to Waverley Care.
What do you hope to achieve as LGBTQ+ officer this year?
I hope that our queer course is accepted. We have a really cool group of people working on it from a lot of different subject areas, such as PhD students and lecturers.
There are so many academics within Edinburgh who specialise within queer studies and queer theory, whose modern, needed and recent research should not be wasted and instead taught to interested students.
Image: Wikipedia Commons