Peterhouse, in grand display of support for LGBT+ cause, flies its OWN flag

Better late than never?

Cambridge CUSU flag jack may julian LGBT Peterhouse tradition university

Peterhouse demonstrated their “strongest support” for LGBT+ history month, through raising their own flag above the college, just 24 hours before the end of February.

The flag is only raised on special occasions such as national holidays. Peterhouse said in a statement that the act was their way of honouring LGBT+ history month.

According to an announcement on their website, Peterhouse was responding a request from one undergraduate for the college to express their support of LGBT+ history month. The college’s governing body agreed on 15 February to show solidarity for the cause.

Peterhouse’s LGBT+ officer, Julian Sutcliffe, requested that the pride flag be flown on the last day of the month. The college rejected the request.

Across the street from Peterhouse, Pembroke was one of the first to hoist the flag

While accepting that there was some show of support, much of Peterhouse has reacted in disappointment.

Sutcliffe told The Tab: “Choosing the college flag was a gesture which greatly disappointed me and very many others in college, as it is a symbol which simply does not represent anyone who identifies as LGBT+.

“We had hoped the election of the new master showed a change in the attitude here, but it seems that there is still a lack of understanding at what the rainbow flag really means.”

The college’s announcement cited precedent and tradition in its announcement:

“As the College only flies its own flag or, on certain days, national flags, the flying of the College flag is indicative that we are giving our strongest support to the LGBT+ history month.”

Peterhouse recently appointed a new master, Ms Bridget Kendall, the first female and LGBT+ master of the college. She’ll assume the position in July.

An unprecedented number of colleges chose to raise the rainbow flag in solidarity and acknowledgment of pride month this year, but some have completely refused to recognise the month with any flag or public announcement. Many colleges including Trinity, St John’s, St Edmund, Darwin, and Caius cited long-standing tradition and no precedents for flying flags other than the college flag.

Peterhouse joins the list of colleges on the fence.

Some Colleges, like Pembroke, changed their traditional policy towards flag raising in order to recognise pride month.