When Covid-19 hit and University College Roosevelt students had to accept their new reality, many of us were disappointed at the loss of massive summer events. Think: concerts, festivals, holidays. You understand it’s for the best, of course, but still. When there’s an event such as Pride, where people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate the different things that Pride may mean to us (support, strength, the historical fight for LGBTQ+ rights, the current fight for LGBTQ+ rights, visibility, and for myself, it means community) – it’s hard for some people not to miss it.
PRISM is University College Roosevelt’s LGBTQ+ society. We host a variety of events, both educational as well as fun, such as lectures, discussion nights, movie events, a drag night, and collaborate frequently with RASA’s other societies. We also do some behind-the-scenes work on making UCR a safer and more comfortable place for everyone, such as working toward access to gender-neutral bathrooms.
However, many societies usually lull a little in the summer; after all, a lot of the students have gone home. This summer, however, with Pride events cancelled, our former (then current) Chair came up with the idea of a virtual summer Pride event. This wasn’t just a summer event to set up for UCR students alone. After all, other University Utrecht students would undoubtedly be interested. We contacted U.H.S.V. Anteros, University Utrecht’s LGBTQ+ oriented student association, and they responded with enthusiasm.
It took a month of planning, of trouble-shooting, of collaboration. Multiple video meetings, a whole promotion campaign (check out the #PrideUU hashtag on Instagram!), and a whole lotta enthusiasm. But on July 6th, we – the former and current Chairs of Prism, and the Acquisitor of Anteros – hosted Utrecht University’s Virtual Pride parade.
The turn-out wasn’t huge, but it certainly was a lot of fun. We started out with a Kahoot – because who doesn’t love a Kahoot? Then, we followed with a discussion round on what Pride means to us (or doesn’t mean), followed by a high-speed series of challenges. If you’ve ever wanted to make a rainbow using Zoom screens, write a queer short song or poem, compile a list of as many queer icons you can think of, and create a collaborative queer drawing, doing it all under twenty minutes… it’s surprisingly stressful. All-in-all, a successful event.
Pride, to me, means community. So, my favourite unexpected addition to this unusual event became bonding with another Utrecht University society that involves themselves in the LGBTQ+ student life. Once it becomes safer, our organising team plans to meet up. And, shout-out to the Anteros member who stayed behind for hours to chat with three of our UCR students. We’ve been invited to an Anteros borrel… how’s that for community!