Post by Hannah Barath, Access & Diversity Co-op Student Assistant
The first couple months of the year are usually pretty grey, but from February 6 – 14 there will be a colourful addition to our campus. During this week the Rainbow flag will be raised for Outweek. This year’s theme is “Sowing Seeds and Setting Roots”.
Since the 1970s the Rainbow flag has been a symbol of pride, hope, and diversity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, two-spirit, and intersex (LGBTQ2I) communities. It symbolizes pride in standing up for and being the person one is; hope for progress and equal rights in society and around the world; and diversity within LGBTQ2I communities.
The flag raising ceremony that will kick off Outweek 2015 will be held at 12.30pm on Friday, February 6. It will take place at the flagpole plaza between the Student Union Building and Brock Hall. Rainbow cake will be served and there will be both gluten-free and vegan alternatives.
In 1978, San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker designed the first Rainbow flag with eight stripes: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet. According to Baker, the colours represented, respectively, sexuality, life, healing, the sun, nature, harmony, art, and spirit. Over time, the flag has evolved to become a symbol of solidarity and strength for LGBTQ2I communities. The current flag consists of six colours and is recognized by the International Congress of Flag Makers.
In 2015, LGBTQ2I communities still face discrimination. UBC flies the Rainbow Flag in support of our LGBTQ2I students, faculty, and staff. Please join us in celebrating the diversity of our campus.
Visit PrideUBC.com for more information regarding Outweek 2015.