Published on February 11, 2014 | by Edwige Dubois

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LGBTQ society asks UAL campuses: What is love?

the completed what is love piece.

The completed What is Love? piece will be showcased at CSM from February 10-15. [UAL LBGTQ society]

A cross-college project has been launched aimed at uniting UAL students around the theme of love.

A three metre by two metre canvas, blank apart from the inscription What Is love? in the centre, has been touring all six UAL campuses as part of an initiative by UAL’s LGBTQ society.

On the canvas, students are invited to write or draw their answers to the question it asks, resulting in a massive collaborative artwork.

Filip Bigos, President of the society, said: “[The project] reinforces the UAL spirit across all our colleges, and brings all the students together.”

Louise Lye, UAL LGBTQ’s Wimbledon representative, added: “At Wimbledon, we are very south. We are further away from any other college [and] we get left out. So I think it is a good opportunity that we can put our mark on this canvas.”

Confidence 

The LGBuddyTQ scheme is another project run by the society, designed to help people come to terms with their sexual orientation by providing them with a ‘buddy’ who has “gone through a coming out, and wants to help others,” in sessions that are treated in the strictest confidence.

UAL’s counselling service supports the LGBuddyTQ project and ensures its confidentiality.

‘Buddy’ training is given by Ken Ewings, Head of Counselling, Health Advice and Disability, who believes that buddies are very helpful as they “are able to talk through the hopes and fears of disclosing ones sexual orientation [and] give tips on socialising and on staying safe.”

“The scheme is powered by the knowledge that we all have a right to become fully who we are and be honest with ourselves,” he told ALN.

‘Queer’

The what is love piece in the beginning stages.

The What is Love? canvas has toured all six UAL campuses. [UAL LGBTQ society]

The LGBTQ society’s committee recently took the decision to add the letter ‘Q’ to its acronym for Queer.

Although the word queer can be used as a synonym for strange or peculiar, and often has negative connotations, it is now used as an umbrella term that embraces the sexual and gender minorities’ spectrum and challenges labels and binary thinking.

Lye describes the new meaning of the word queer by LGBTQ as a positive measure:

“I think it is about taking ownership of it and generalising. Not everyone is strictly gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual, so maybe the Q is there to show some leniencies and not make it so strict.”

The What Is Love? piece will be showcased at the Platform Theatre Bar at Central Saint Martins from February 10-15.

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