Leiden Pride began life in the early 2010’s as the Leidsche Ganymedes Borrel, taking its name from the Greek Myth of Ganymedes, a young man so beautiful that even Zeus fell in love with him. In addition to this, it was decided that the abbreviation of the name was to be read as LGB. As a non-profit foundation, LGB was primarily a place where LGBTQI+ individuals within Leiden University could meet, socialise, and discuss things that were relevant to them. In 2014, we changed our name to Leiden University Pride, partially to strengthen our relationship to the University, but definitely to become more inclusive — the missing T from the LGB acronym was perceived as dismissive of Leiden University’s trans community.
As Leiden University Pride (LU Pride), we were engaged in community building, offering safe social spaces to the public, as well as engaging with researchers and academic topics that fell within the LGBTQI+ realm. Through lecture series on religion, diversity, law, gender and through regular meet-ups and special symposiums, LU Pride served its community with Pride. But in 2019, things began to change. The board of LU Pride noticed that members of the community beyond Leiden University would join.
With the expansion of LU Pride’s activities to Leiden University’s campus in The Hague, a consistent offering of a variety of well-attended events (from lectures, to karaoke nights, to parties) and collaborations with other student Pride organizations, we found our foundation hosting people from all over: Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden, Amsterdam, and other surrounding towns and cities; we were inundated with messages asking whether people not affiliated with Leiden University could join our events. Students from other universities, older members of the local community. And so the decision was made to simplify the name of our foundation to ‘Leiden Pride’.
Our mission, vision and value remains the same. Leiden Pride still provides safe spaces for members of our community and access to LGBTQI+ research through the invitation of LGBTQI+ scholars. We still cater to the same community we catered to before. The only difference comes in our name, and as our community knows very well, there is power in a name. Our new name shows inclusiveness to all, one of our most important values. Leiden University Pride was a foundation which people felt the need to ask permission to attend. Leiden Pride has no such prerequisites. And this is what it is all about.