February is LGBTQ+ History Month, and Oxford colleges, departments, and faculties are hosting various events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in Oxford and highlight studies and research in the field.
Most visibly, many locations around Oxford are flying the rainbow Pride flag for various durations in February. New, St. John’s, St. Catherine’s, Keble, Lincoln, Oriel, Somerville, and Harris Manchester Colleges have all confirmed that the flag will be flying on their main poles throughout February, and Christ Church’s flag will be up in Peckwater Quad. Balliol, Magdalen, and Teddy Hall will be flying the Pride flag throughout February for the first time this year. St. Hugh’s has recently lost its college Pride flag, but its JCR LGBTQ+ Rep confirms that the flag will be up once it is replaced. Pride flags have also been spotted at Trinity, Merton, and Mansfield. Besides colleges, the plant sciences building, St. Cross Building, and Holywell Manor have also put up Pride flags, and the Sheldonian Theatre is displaying rainbow see-through screens on its top pavilion.
Academic and educational activities on LGBTQ+ History will take place across Oxford this month. The annual LGBTQ+ History Month lecture convened by the History Faculty will be delivered by Louise Wallwein, MBE on “working-class queers”, on February 12th in the Sheldonian Theatre, and free tickets are now available on Eventbrite. The Oxford Centre on Life Writing will host a symposium on “Writing Queer Lives” in Wolfson College on February 11th. Library displays are now installed in the Upper Gladstone Link as well as Teddy Hall’s College Library.
Harris Manchester Chapel, the only Oxford college chapel licensed to perform both same-sex and opposite-sex marriages according to its JCR President Scott Buchanan, has invited Reverend Andrew Foreshew-Cain to offer reflections at its Choral Evensong this month. This continues HMC’s traditional connection to the progressive Unitarian movement, as Foreshew-Cain helped launched the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England.
Many colleges are commemorating LGBTQ+ History by screening films with LGBTQ+ themes. St. Catherine’s screened The Favourite on February 2nd in collaboration with its Dean Kitchin History Society. Lincoln will be showing Moonlight, and Magdalen and Somerville will screen Pride. Balliol, Keble and Teddy Hall have also confirmed that they will include films in their LGBTQ+ History Month celebrations. These form a part of various inter- and intra-college LGBTQ+ social activities: Balliol plans to host brunches and Lincoln has already hosted a Welfare Tea for LGBTQ+ students.
Various colleges will highlight and celebrate their own LGBTQ+ communities with formal events. Christ Church will celebrate the month with its annual black-tie Unity Dinner, which allows its LGBTQ+ community to “come together, have some lovely food and reflect on LGBTQ+ rights, solidary and unity.” Somerville, New, St John’s and Univ will have similar formals, and Magdalen will host its Oscar Wilde Dinner, named after its alumnus.