Tag Archives: vandalised

Vandalism At University College London Proves How Necessary LGBT History Month Is

Most people recognise that the the monstrosities of World War 2 should never be repeated. We all know what happened during the Second World War thanks to many history classes on it: the Nazis, as led by Adolf Hitler, tried to achieve world domination and oppressed and murdered millions of people (mostly Jewish people) along the way.

But some of those thrown into concentration camps (prisons where people were forced into hard labour and where some were gassed to death) were put there not because they were Jewish but because they were LGBT. And horrifically, LGBT people who survived the concentration camps were rescued by the allies only to be thrown into prison as homosexuality was still criminalized in many ally countries including England. That’s why it was so unfortunate earlier this month, when some students from the University College London, vandalised an LGBTQ flag with a Swastika.

The banner had been put up as part of national LGBT History Month celebrations that are currently taking place at many colleges in the UK. The banner had only been up for three hours when students drew the deeply offensive graffiti on it.

The UCL Student Union writes in a statement:

“We are sorry to report that within 3 hours of our LGBT+ History Month vinyl banners being put up on the front of the UCL Quad, one of them has been graffitied with an image of a swastika in permanent marker.

The swastika as a symbol is indelibly tainted by its use by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, an atrocity resulting in the murder of many millions of people, among them tens of thousands of LGBT+ people. Its use as graffiti constitutes a hate crime.

We refuse to be intimidated. We will be continuing to promote LGBT+ History Month widely across campus and celebrating the presence of LGBTQ+ students, staff and visitors at UCL. The incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and will be dealt with seriously.”

While it is good news that UCL is doing it’s bit to stamp this behaviour out – and bring the perpetrators to justice – this incident is just one of many similar occurrences around the UK. UCL student journalist Siobhan Fenton notes on The Telegraph that at Liverpool University one student suffered homophobic abuse only to be told by campus security that “it’s all part of the fun” and that students at Bristol University put up posters warnings their peers that trans* students may rape them.

Given that an estimated 11% of all UK university students identify as LGBTQ, there are over 100,000 students whose lives are being affected by these pockets of ignorance. How universities plan on tackling this serious issue is yet to be seen.