Given that June was pride month and the London Pride parade was this past Saturday I thought I’d make a post about what it is like to be an LGBTQ+ student at the university of Surrey.
Given that I didn’t grow up in a place that was LGBTQ+ friendly, going to university somewhere were I didn’t have to hide that part of me was really important to me. Everywhere in England that I’ve been to so far has been pretty LGBTQ+ friendly and I’ve never had any issues even though I’m out to everyone around me and I put no effort to hide it.
A few days after moving into university accommodation I met my student life mentor. She was really nice and asked me about my background and concerns about starting university as well as which societies I planned to join. After hearing that I was planning on joining the LGBTQ+ society she gave me some information on local resources and the contact information for someone at student services who works supporting LGBTQ+ individuals on campus.
The LGBTQ+ society meets twice a week on campus, they have a social meeting which is generally followed by drinks at Wates. They also have some other events, for example this past academic year they a meetup with the LGBTQ+ society at Oxford, went to the pride parade in London (which I sadly missed because of an injured leg) as well as collaborations with other societies at the university and glitterbomb which takes place at Rubix.
In addition to the society there’s also the LGBT Equality group which meets 4 times a week and helps with university initiatives to encourage more representation of the LGBT community throughout the university. They also organise events, for example, they made an awesome cake for the launch of LGBT History Month (picture below!) and they also held lots of events throughout the month, including a presentation by Clare Summerskill about LGBT refugees. Other events that were celebrated during the year weere National Coming Out Day, Spirit Day, Intersex Awareness, Transgender Day or Remembrance (the university flew the trans flag that day) and the university also flew the rainbow flag during pride month.
There’s other LGBTQ+ resources around Guildford independent of the university. For example LGBT Guildford, Twister, The Round Robin, and Outline Surrey.
I hope this post was helpful! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.