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‘Whose Rainbow? What does the rainbow flag mean to LGBTQIA+ people since COVID?’

What’s on offer?

During covid-19 the rainbow flag started to be used as a symbol of hope and gratitude towards the NHS. However, this caused some concern, particularly among LGBTQIA+ people, who have drawn attention to the rainbow flag’s traditional association with LGBTQIA+ Pride and/or inclusion, for instance indicating that a particular space or setting was ‘LGBT-friendly’. The rainbow is also increasingly used by organisations to suggest how inclusive they are, prompting critiques about the commercialisation of Pride and/or corporate ‘pinkwashing’. These issues raise questions about who ‘owns’ and has the right to use the rainbow symbol, and how varied uses can have practical and emotional impacts for different people. Tying in with a research project led by Jen Slater and Eleanor Formby on the use of rainbows as an institutional ‘nod’ to inclusion within higher education (funded by BA/Leverhulme), this panel discussion will give audience members the chance to hear, and contribute to, discussion on this topic.

Speakers tbc.

The event will be held on Zoom. There will be BSL interpretation, and (automatically generated) closed captions will be available. In order to maximise participant safety, somebody will be moderating the chat

What’s it about?

The event will inform future thinking and practice about the deployment of the rainbow flag, with impacts for people’s everyday lives as well as future social science research.

Who’s leading the event?

Jen Slater and Eleanor Formby

Open to

The event will be open to the public (though we expect it will be particularly of interest to LGBT+ people and their allies),