UCD Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Society, in conjunction with the O2 ‘Think Big Project’, is running Ally Week this week, with the festivities concluding this Thursday, April 18th. The event is a week run by the society to celebrate people who identify as heterosexual (or cisgendered) who support issues that affect members of the LGBT community such as marriage equality and gender recognition.
Auditor-Elect, Jack Carolan commented that: “It’s a really great initiative run by the Committee of the 25th Session, led by outgoing Auditor David Healy”. The event aims to not only draw a new proportion of the campus to UCD LGBT but also to raise greater awareness that the society is on campus. Carolan hopes that people will realize that the society is not “just catering to members of the LGBT community but also to everyone on the UCD campus”.
The Week began yesterday with an event run in connection with the UCD Literary and Historical Society and Amnesty International held in the FitzGerald Debating Chamber in the Student Centre. Kasha Nabagesera was awarded the James Joyce Award by the L&H on the evening.
Nabagesera is currently campaigning against the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This Bill stipulates that being gay is a criminal offence, with punishments ranging from prison sentences to the death penalty. It also says that citizens who do not “out” people who they know to be gay can be imprisoned for up to three years.
There will be a number of coffee mornings during the week on open invitation so that people can speak to members of the LGBT community. Carolan says that the Society found “a lot of people don’t even realise that they could be an ally because they haven’t ever met someone who relates to LGB or T so [they] find that having people come to events like that, in a more relaxed environment lets them meet and interact.”
There are also a number of workshops and “more fun events” like screenings around LGBT issues. One of the most well received events so far, is that games of Quidditch will be played on Wednesday on the playing pitches by the Student Centre.
The LGBT Disney Ball will round out Ally Week on Wednesday, to be held in 4 Dame Lame. Tickets will be on sale outside Theatre L in Arts from 12-2 each day. The Society has also partially branded the event with O2, whose idea it was to provide ‘Pride Not Prejudice’ t-shirts which will be worn by Committee Members so that those attending the events will be aware of who is involved with the events on the day.