1,000 students are expected to descend on Brighton this weekend for the eighth annual National Student Pride.
A letter of support has been received from Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy PM Nick Clegg, Leader of the opposition Ed Miliband and a video message from Brighton and Hove MP and Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas.
The prime minister called the event an important landmark in the LGBT student calendar.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he wanted “to pay tribute to the National Union of Students LGBT campaign, which marks its 30th anniversary this year. The student movement has always been impatient for change and at the forefront of the campaign for LGBT rights.”
The weekend of events includes a Question Time style debate with a high profile LGBT panel, an LGBT jobs fair and stalls, a number of social events around the city and a huge club night at the Brighton Dome complex on Saturday evening.
Saturday’s live debate is free to attend and is being staged in association with Attitude Magazine.
It will be chaired by Attitude Editor Matthew Todd (Stonewall Editor of the Year) and the panel includes BBC newscaster Jane Hill, John Amaechi OBE (the NBA’s first out gay basketball player), England cricketer Steven Davies, actress Sophie Ward, Dan Gillespie Sells (Lead singer of The Feeling), James Wharton (a gay soldier who has worked with Stonewall in schools to combat homophobic bullying) and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
PinkNews.co.uk founder and Channel 4 News correspondent Benjamin Cohen will talk about his It Gets Better Video on faith and sexuality.
Writing about the filming of his video, Cohen has said: “Once I watched back the video, I realised it would have some impact. It’s the thing I’m most proud of making during the five-and-a -half years that I’ve been at Channel 4 News because it’s from the heart. It’s not the best delivered piece to camera I’ve ever recorded or the best use of language. But it really means something to me. The personal connection is something that very rarely happens with news stories I produce.”
Danica Histed, Chair of National Student Pride said: “After X-Factor winner Joe McElderry headlining 2011 we are so excited for 2012.
“The move to the Brighton Dome enables the event to get much bigger and much better, including allowing the Under 18’s in to the daytime event for the first time.”
Stonewall’s 2012 Workplace Equality Index Employer of the Year Ernst & Young are the top sponsors.