Why does Trinity College fear the visibility of LGBT+ students?

Image description: The inside of Trinity College. Credit: John Mason

Anonymous Trinity student

This week an LGBT+ student at Trinity College was asked to remove a rainbow flag from their room. The flag was small, postcard sized, but clearly big enough to cause offence. It was stuck onto an inside facing window and College referred the student to the accommodation handbook which prohibits the display of political symbols anywhere except designated noticeboards.

However, the rainbow flag is inherently not a political symbol. If Trinity College thinks it is, then the College misunderstands what the LGBT+ liberation movement is all about. The LGBT+ liberation movement is about love, equality and respect and the rainbow flag is a symbol of that movement. There should never be anything political about love, equality and respect.

They’re more about human decency than anything else.

However, this is far from an isolated incident. Earlier this month, Trinity College was one of only two colleges which refused to fly the rainbow flag for LGBT+ history month and there appears to be no LGBT+ representation or visibility within the College. Indeed, as an LGBT+ student at Trinity, my time here has felt exceedingly lonely thus far and other students I have spoken to in the College feel the same way. There is no real sense of community here like I see in other colleges and Trinity, by nature, feels conservative and opposed to any form of change or anything that may unsettle things a little.

And a rainbow flag unsettles things a little. A postcard sized rainbow flag is a sign that things are changing. It is a sign that LGBT+ people are becoming comfortable with their identity and with being more visible as who they are and not who they must pretend to be.

So I ask the two following questions to Trinity:

1. What scares you so much about LGBT+ students celebrating their identity and becoming more visible in College?

2. Are you aware what message your actions send to future LGBT+ applicants and current students and staff?

– The Virgin Queen

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