LGBTQ+ Dinner 2023
On Saturday 25th February, Manchester Grammar School held its very first LGBTQ+ Dinner for Old Mancunians, current staff and 6th Form in the Memorial Hall.
The night began with a drinks reception in which old and young were able to reflect on the marked changes that they have witnessed in the school’s Diversity Programme, and ended with a formal dinner, accompanied by the talented Year 13 pianist, Rohan. Attendees were delighted by our highly-entertaining, glamorous guest speaker, Yigal Landey (OM 02-09), who detailed his own challenging experiences at Manchester Grammar School some fourteen years ago, while Patrick, our current Year 13 External Officer, reflected on the proactive celebration of LGBTQ identities in our school in recent years. LGBTQ Representative, Ms Ceridwen McCarthy, ended the night by speaking about the work that staff have put into changing the culture after Section 28 was abolished. An entertaining and often moving event, guests were excited to be part of a new chapter for The Manchester Grammar School and its wider community.
Amongst the topics of discussion was the introduction of new bathrooms and changing rooms for trans pupils, the first anniversary of the new LGBTQ Society, and our programme of events and assemblies for Pride Month. It was a pleasure to see such a diverse cohort coming through the doors, including several former School Captains! Most importantly, staff allies attended the event too, demonstrating the wonderful support network our current students can access when in our care. The eldest and the youngest exchanged their stories with one another, both with hilarity and sombre reflection as the night wore on.
An attendee commented: "Returning to MGS for the first LGBT Dinner was a real pleasure. The event far exceeded my expectations, and I congratulate Patrick, the LGBTQ Society, Jane and the MGS team for organising such an enjoyable event. It was a surreal experience to return to a place I had spent so long keeping my sexuality a secret to celebrate it. Welcoming academically gifted boys - no matter what background - was part of Hugh Oldham’s founding ethos over half a millennium ago. Seeing MGS being able to proudly celebrate being so welcoming to its LGBT students just as we celebrate the successes of the Bursary Scheme and the school’s racial and religious diversity made me prouder than ever to have been an MGS boy."
We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all those who took part in the dinner this year. It has been inspiring to celebrate our community in the school, as well as reunite and share the stories which were long overdue to be both told and heard.
We can’t wait to welcome everyone back next year!