St John’s second-year, Jamie Jackson, has spoken up about homophobia at Eton College in an open letter.

Jamie Jackson studies History at St John’s and, after leaving Eton for Oxford in 2013, has helped to lift the lid on the experiences of non-straight pupils at the elite private school. His account came as a response to an article claiming homophobia was not a problem at the school with which he disagreed.

After an overwhelmingly positive response to his efforts, he hopes to change the culture and attitude of the school towards homophobia by highlighting these accounts.

 

Jamie explained his motivations to VERSA, saying: “I wrote the letter much as anyone writes a frustrated status on Facebook: as an avenue for my anger without expectation of satisfaction. It killed a few hours in which I probably should have been working.”

With “around 50 replies from current Etonians, Old Etonians, and staff members at the school”, the feedback has been “deeply personal and affecting”. The project has spread beyond the sphere of the school, with The Huffington Post and Pink News both picking up on Jamie’s facebook post.

The St John’s history student said of his aims: “I feel deeply privileged that so many people have shared such accounts with me, and I am determined to use the capital they, and the Pink News and The Huffington Post articles, have produced to ensure meaningful change.”

 

Maybe VERSA will try to inspire positive change in historic institutions next time Hilary is getting us down…

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