Over 900 students will be attending Queerfest on Saturday at Wadham College, round off the college’s Queer Week which has celebrated gender diversity and equality.
Scheduled to start at 6pm, the event has the dress code ‘Let it Go’. Organisers stated on the Facebook event page, “All are welcome regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity”. Acts from Oxford and Cambridge are set to perform, including a cappella group Out of the Blue and Rock Q, a Queen tribute band.
President Lucy Halton emphasised that Queerfest and Queer Week are entirely run, organised and funded by the Wadham Student Union, explaining, “It’s a huge undertaking and something we’re very proud of.” Of the importance of the event to the LBTQ community, Halton said, “it’s both fun and educational and really brings people together in a spirit of learning and solidarity.”
The OUSU LGBTQ campaign, led by Officer Adam Ward, has been highlighting their own Bye Bi Prejudice campaign, which aims “to dispel stereotypes non-monosexual people face” as part of Queer Week. Ward congratulated the organisers, telling Cherwell, “they have done a fantastic job of planning an engaging and diverse itinerary.”
First year Anna Lewis at Catz said that she thought “Queerfest is a great idea”, adding, “So many queer events are based around politics that it’s wonderful to have an event celebrating queerness in a more light-hearted atmosphere. The theme is unfortunately reminiscent of Frozen, which I’m not a big fan of, but I can’t wait to see the range of interpretations and costumes that people come up with.” Asked what she hopes the event will achieve, Anna said, “probably getting me very drunk.”
Other events this week have included sexual health workshops, art shows, hair styling and open mic sessions. Wadham has also flown the rainbow flag as part of Queer Week. It was the first college to do so in 2011, inspiring at least ten other colleges, including Oriel, Univ and St Catherine’s, to follow suit in the following years. Some colleges, including Brasenose, drew criticisms from their JCRs for refusing to fly the flag.