The festival takes place annually on the last Saturday of February in celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month.
Glasgow University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer Plus Student’s Association (GULGBTQ+) is hosting their annual Queerfest festival on 29 February in celebration for LGBTQ+ History Month.
Queerfest will be held at Queen Margaret Union (QMU) at 11:00am in collaboration with different organisations across the University of Glasgow and Scotland.
During the day, the festival includes creative workshops, games, dancing with Glasgow Student Dance Company (GSDC), a taster session run by Quidditch society and panel events that focus on education or facilitating discussion. GULGBTQ+ has a representative from Hidayah and JSOC, the new interfaith chaplain for UofG on the interfaith panel, whereas the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) panel will be provided by the committee of UofG BAME society and LGBTQ+ officer Indigo Korres.
President of GULGBTQ+ Madeleine McKernan said: "Queerfest is a celebratory event, which is always important for LGBTQ+ people to be able to have, especially in today’s hostile climate. It’s also wonderful to be able to organise as queer people, in our own space where no one will stare at us or make us feel out of place."
Similarly, the event coordinator Emily Tunstall said that Queerfest highlights amazing talents of the LGBTQ+ community and shows the variety of experience of their community.
Tunstall said: “we have a really exciting and interesting day and night planned for both LGBTQ+ people and anyone else who is not in that community but wants to come and learn and have a great time.”
Before the night celebration at Polo Club, GULGBTQ+ will present performances musicians, and karaoke, art, poetry, photography and pieces of writing from contributors sharing the meaning of Queer Bodies/Queer Souls; the main theme of this year’s festival.
McKernan said that the event is "a way to describe how diverse and complicated our experiences as queer people are, especially with our relationships to our bodies” said the president of GULGBTQ+."
McKernan said: "Queer is a word that many in the LGBTQ+ community have reclaimed to mean gender or sexual experience other than cishet. Many people find it a more freeing term to describe themselves with and are commonly used in academia and in activism. However, it is still widely used as a slur and many people have really negative experiences attached to the word, so it’s important to remember that identifying as queer can be liberating, but you should always check with someone if they’re comfortable using it for themselves."
Once a year, Queefest fundraises for Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) in memory of their beloved former GULGBTQ+ committee member Alex Hernandez, who passed away in 2016.
"There’s a tree on campus in his memory, and he was really well-loved within the society. He was part of the society before I started uni[versity] but my partner and a lot of my friends loved him very much", McKernan said.
Students interested in participating in Queerfest can visit the GULGBTQ+ Facebook page.