'Higher Education provides an important space where LGBT students are able to 'be themselves' and establish an independent adult identity away from the childhood contexts of school and family life’
(Equality Challenge Unit, 2009)
At St Mary’s Students’ Union we really value the contributions that individuals with diverse identities, backgrounds and experiences make to our community. We are keen to create a welcoming environment for everyone, and we recognise that, although sexual orientation and gender identity is a private matter, it is extremely beneficial for students to feel accepted and included at university.
Being Your Authentic Self at University
The process of telling others about your sexual orientation or gender identity is often referred to as ‘coming out’. Coming out is not necessarily a one-off event – you may have to come out many times during your life. However, you should always be in control about who you are out to and when. SMSU aims to support our diverse student population in all aspects of the student experience and our commitment is documented in the SMSU Equality Policy.
Advice and support
University should be a place where students can be themselves and have the freedom to make their own choices. We encourage students to come and speak to us or the Counselling Service (Student Services) if you are having issues with family/friends accepting your sexuality and want support around this. It is really important that you don’t have to hide your true identities.
Staff of St Mary’s University attend an induction session about equality on campus and all of the Sports Clubs and Society committee members attend equality training at the Sports and Societies Conference each year. The SU is currently a supporter of Terrence Higgins Trust and hopes to help the University to become a Stonewall Champion in the next 2 years.
St Mary’s Students’ Union is proud to support the St Mary’s LGBT+ Society and works hard to ensure that equality and diversity on campus is a priority. The LGBT+ Society has weekly meet ups. For more information contact the LGBT+ Society via the SMSU Societies Page. You can also contact the LGBT+ Society by liking the Facebook Page: St Mary’s LGBT+
Local and national info, advice and support
St Mary’s Counselling Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingston LGBT Forum: http://www.kingstonlgbtforum.org.uk/
National LGBT Consortium: http://www.lgbtconsortium.org.uk/?page=1
Time Out: Gay London: http://www.timeout.com/london/lgbt