#StudentPride 2015 - the Round Up

A rousing start to #StudentPride with Adam All and Apple Derrieres performing on the live music stage to kick off the event taking place at Westminster University. 'Pour some sugar on me' why don't you? I need to cool down.

Other day time performers included Chris Shadlers, Sophie DeBattista, Seth Corbin, Hayley Chillcot, Alexie (Abbie Douglas) and BlokeZone.

The 10th anniversary event welcomed well ove 1000 students from ove 100 universities and colleges through the
doors.

The impressive recruitment and community market place is open with lots and lots of freebies, games, gimmicks, stickers and of course useful information for the students. With a wide range of companies from Planet London (of course) to the armed services, blue chips, political parties and everything in between, it's really pleasing to see that these employers are proactively making themselves attractive recruiters to LGBTQI students.

Following a week of petitions to the University of Westminster due to the proposed speaker Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad, scheduled to speak two days before the big Student Pride event, things will have been hectic for the organising team who managed to pull off a spectacular event.

There were two panel discussions at Student Pride covering some topical and significant issues for young LGBT people today: the power of the student vote and LGBT representation in the media. (For a more in depth look read our write ups of the panels). With incredibly high profile speakers for the panels that included representation from the majoy UK political parties (UKIP declined their invitation...) and the likes of Heather Peace, Alicya Eyo and Paris Lees (as well as Eastenders and Dustin Lance Black). During the Political Panel, Bisexual Liberal Democrat MP and Justice Minister Simon Hughes of the Lib Dems pledged to pass the legislation to pardon those convicted of being homosexual before the May General Election.

We caught up with Alicya Eyo (Ex Bad Girl, Current Emmerdalian) about her perspective of the Media Panel. She said "It
was an amazing experience, to be up there with that group of people on the panel". She commented "There were some really interesting questions, which allowed us to discuss some important points such as the challenge it is to
have good LGBT representation on mainstream programming and how hard producers have to work to make that happen. We should be very proud of what we've done already. There's still a need for LGBT specific programming, as we represent many cultures on TV but we do also need a healthy balance of normalising LGBT portrayal in mainstream media, soaps and dramas."

The final main stage event was the Talent Show Student version of the Voice X with popular "Judges" Lucy Spraggan, Mary Mac and Matt Crab. Congratulations to winner Hayley Chillcott. We caught up with Lucy to find out what she thought of Student Pride and their talent as well as some news of the upcoming album release. "I am here today to
be a judge on the Voice X... not that I have the credentials to judge anyone on their musical performance except for myself! I'm just going to be the nice one." So what about the preparations for the new album "We Are" and upcoming single "Unsinkable"? "It's going really well... everyday there's news or updates about getting picked up in playlists. But it's really stressful too - there's lots to do. The entire album documents the last three years, so it's pretty emotional. "Join The Club" was quite happy and upbeat... this is more mature sonically and lyrically". [We agree!] "It was scary testing the material on the UK tour in November, but everyone responded really well. I'm releasing this album on my own label CTRL Records."