By Robert Culhane
This year’s Rainbow Week falls on Week 10 of the semester, starting on Monday the 7th of November. The idea of Rainbow Week is to celebrate the LGBTQ community in its entirety through a fun and educational way. It is hosted during the autumn semester of every year and is one of Out in UL’s biggest events. The week involves a lot of work and dedication by all committee members as it takes a substantial amount of time and coordination to organise, but the finished product should be an amazing week on campus. The aim of Rainbow Week is also to provide visibility of the LGBTQ community in the wider society in an inclusive manner whereby anyone can partake in the events organised by Out in UL throughout the week. It is our week as a society to showcase what we do and what we stand for in a fun, interactional way while also educating people on LGBTQ topics.
Rainbow Week starts on Monday the 7th of November with ‘Queer in the Courtyard’ from 1 to 3pm. The centrepiece of this event is a canvas with the word ‘queer’ which will be placed in the students’ union courtyard. Anyone is welcome to write on the canvas whatever they feel the word queer means to them. Despite using the word ‘queer’, it is not just open to LGBTQ people and everyone is invited to take part. On Monday evening from 7 until 9pm we will be hosting our ‘Past, Present, Future’ event in scholars which is a mixer for past, present and future Out in UL members. We will be showcasing past events and achievements as well as looking at how we hope to advance as a society and move forward in the future.
Then, on Tuesday we have our ‘Gender Spectrum Workshop’ with GOSHH in SU Room 3 from 1 to 2pm. GOSHH are a charity based in Limerick city who provide information on sexual health and LGBTQ+ topics, and this workshop will focus on gender variance. In the evening we are holding our ‘Big Night In’ event in Plassey Hall from 7 o’clock onwards where we will enjoy a relaxing evening with games, takeaway and music. All members are welcome!
On Wednesday in the student union’s courtyard from 12 to 3pm we will be hosting our ‘Gender and Sexuality’ event where we will provide a board for people to paint different colours which will represent the different genders and sexualities of the LGBTQ community. In the evening, our good friends in UL’s Drama Society are holding Stigma, a performance in which monologues about mental health are read out. Some of our members have submitted pieces to Stigma to give a much-needed queer slant on the mental health issue.
Thursday will see us holding another collaboration event, this time with the Feminist society which will be a workshop on the LGBTQ’s place within the feminist movement. As queer people on all parts of the spectrum have for a long time played a major role in feminism, this should be an incredibly interesting workshop.
In the evening we will be holding our ‘Big Night Out’ event, which is one of the most anticipated events during Rainbow Week every year. This will take place in Strokers on Upper William Street – Limerick’s only LGBTQ-specific venue – and will feature performances from some of our fantastic members and friends. Doors open at 9pm and it should be a fantastic night for all! Finally, on Friday we will be hosting Recovery Tea with the Tea Appreciation Society from 1-3pm in SU Room 3 where we will all sit around and relax, drinking tea and playing games to recover from the busy week. As you can see, Rainbow Week has an amazing line-up this year and we hope it will a wonderful week which showcases the vibrancy of UL’s queer community.