Our Showcase this month is Miriam Daniel. Miriam is an awesome student who we’ve worked with in the past on several campaigns, with companies such as Lovehoney and as a panelist on our pulse checks. Mariam spoke to us in June about Pride month and what it means to her. Mariam also speaks about what universities can do to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students.
Hype: Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Mariam: I’m Mariam, I’m currently studying International Development and I’m 25 years young
Hype: How did you get involved with us?
Mariam: I got involved with Hype from doing a promo job with one of your team. They found me via social media, and recommended that I apply for your recent campaign with Student Universe – Taste of Taiwan.
Hype: What’s been the most interesting activity you’ve been involved with during your time with Hype?
Mariam: I loved working on the Lovehoney campaign the most. I’m a sex positive advocate and believe sex should be an important topic of conversation and that it shouldn’t be shied away from.
I’ve also really enjoyed taking part in the student panels for your pulse checks. Having the chance, as an activist, to talk to companies and make sure that they are doing what they said they would to look after staff and society was great. I believe that holding companies accountable is very important.
Hype: Do you think that it’s important for universities to have safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students?
Mariam: Yes, I think its highly important for a student (whether they are out or not) to recognise that there are safe spaces for them to go and speak and share experiences with other students.
Hype: What are some things you think universities can do for the LGBTQ+ community that they’re not doing/What is something you’ve seen that can be significantly improved for the experience of LGBTQ+ students?
Mariam: I think that universities should stop only showing the pride flag during pride month. I believe that they should frequently include it in student newsletters and create links to local and online LGBTQ+ groups.
Hype: What does Pride Month mean to you?
Mariam: Pride month is a reminder personally for me to look back at members of the community that have fought for me to be open and queer in all my entity. It’s a month to remember how my whole identity is valid.
Hype: What are the pro’s and cons that you have regarding Pride month? Do you think it is a positive step for equality and the visibility of the community?
Mariam: I think it depends. On one hand, it’s great to see information being shared. I also think it’s positive to highlight problems within the lgbtq community. However, companies will happily promote a rainbow flag for pride but won’t protect their LGBTQ+ staff, or take their issues seriously.
Hype: Have there been any events related to pride month that you’ve enjoyed and why?
Mariam: I help run the Kill the Bill movement in Portsmouth. During one of our events, we had a good friend of mine come down from Pride Portsmouth to speak and it was great to highlight how the new policing bill would effect the community, including the issue of causing harm to lgbtq people.
Hype: What advice would you give to someone who is scared to come out?
Mariam: Find close friends with similar moral compasses that you feel comfortable to talk to. Also different unis have different confidential groups such as uni run counselling services who you can talk to.
Hype: Do you have any organisations you’d like to shout out for Pride Month?
Mariam: United for Black Lives is a group of different led BLM groups in the uk. Having a group that love me for me whilst also having a safe space to support each other is fab. Also, Portsmouth Pride, they work very hard behind the scenes to make the area safe for lgbtq people.