LGBTQ+

The thought of coming out as gay or transgender at university can be extremely daunting, especially if you have not come out before.

There are a number of support avenues at the University to help you if you are confused, looking for friends or just want someone to talk to in complete confidence.

Trans students

Trans* is an umbrella term used to include all gender-variant people. It can mean someone feels like the opposite gender to which they were born, or that they classify themselves as non-binary, neither male nor female, or even a mix of the two.

The University has a Student Trans Support Policy which can be found on our student policies webpage.

The University has designated 79 gender neutral toilet facilities. This is not a static number, and gender neutral toilet facilities will increase as building improvements and construction take place. View maps of gender neutral toilets on the Canterbury Campus (pdf) and Medway Campus (pdf).

Support group for for trans students

Have you ever questioned your birth-assigned gender?

There is a free, confidential peer-support group run in partnership with TG Pals for all trans, intersex and non-binary gender people at the University of Kent. The group is run by non-binary people for non-binary people. Family and partners are welcome. The group welcomes folk in drab (birth gender mode) or dressed (preferred gender mode).  No matter how you present, you will always be addressed by your preferred name.

In light of the current COVID-19 restrictions, the support group will still be operating, but in a digital format for the first term of the 2020-2021 academic year.  Sessions will be run via Zoom. Please email Joy Everingham on joy.everingham@methodist.org.uk to be emailed a joining link.

If you are unable to attend one of the virtual support sessions (due to different time zones, work commitment etc), please do email Joy for alternative support, such as a 1:1 session.

Please note that we are exploring a 'quick exit' option for attendees, but that currently all exit routes from Zoom require two clicks to shut down. We are conscious that the safety and security of our students is paramount. If you do not feel safe attending a session (e.g due to the home environment) please do also contact Joy for alternative support.

It is hoped that we will be able to resume the normal group meeting format from January 2021 onward, but more information will be provided nearer the time.

See the TG Pals dates for 2020/21 academic year

Accommodation

The University has some accommodation available for couples. For further advice or information please contact the University Accommodation Office directly on +44 (0)1227 766660 or email accomm@kent.ac.uk.

LGBTQ+ Network

Kent Union has a number of networks including the LGBTQ+ Network. The LGBTQ+ Network aims to represent and act as the voice for, as well as promote, extend and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ students to both the University and Kent Union.

The Network also  organises events to help celebrate LGBTQ+ rights at the University of Kent. 

LGBTQ+ Society

LGBTQ+ Society is a social society with the aim of providing a safe space for those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ umbrella. They welcome people of all sexualities and genders. 

The University of Kent also has an LGBT+ Staff Network who encourage any students who would like staff support to get in touch. Please see the Staff Network's blog for more information of the staff role models at Kent.

LGBTQ+ Mythbusters

LGBTQ+ Mythbusters are Kent students who go into secondary schools to speak to students (16-18 year olds) candidly about their experiences, both in terms of their sexuality and/or identity, their coming out process and also about University life in broader terms.

Mythbusters are put into teams (minimum two people per team) and allocated to a group of approximately 30 students. Students ask their questions anonymously by writing them on post-it notes and submitting them. The Mythbusters then pull the questions individually and can choose whether or not they wish to answer them. All groups are supervised by a teacher from the school.

The aim is for young people to be able to ask questions in a safe and supportive environment that they may not previously have felt comfortable or able to ask, to find out more about life in University for someone who identifies as LGBTQ+ and also to ask questions about their own experiences and emotions that they may be unsure about from someone who truly understands what it is like.

If you are interested in becoming an LGBT+ Mythbuster please contact Becky Lamyman (Student EDI Officer) for more information: R.S.Lamyman@kent.ac.uk

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