This is not the first time a LGBT+-network has been set up at UM, but the other initiatives never really took off. The two partners of UM Pride, Dionyx (for youth and students throughout Limburg) and COC (for every age category), are not specifically aimed at UM. “So I felt there was a lack”, says Muraro.
He was pleasantly surprised by the support he got from the university. “Acceptance is one thing, promoting diversity another.” However, not everyone feels like Maastricht is a safe place for them yet. “I want them to have a community to turn to, give them a voice. When I came to Maastricht I hadn’t come out yet. A year later I’m advocating for LGBT+ rights. The experience has left me with a sense of empowerment that I wish for everybody.”
UM Pride will support research into LGBT+ issues, organize lectures or workshops on the theme, refer people who are struggling to the mental or physical care and organize drinks and parties. “We want to have fun too.”
Their launch event on Thursday will have a combination of seriousness and fun. At the beginning of the evening a LGBT+ activist from human rights organisation PEMA Kenya will speak, at the end there will be a party at Café Rose.
See https://www.facebook.com/events/2023514874444576/ for more information.