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.
Support for 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 put in place the Student Trans Support Policy from the start of the academic year 2018-19 which can be found on our student policies webpage.
Kent, in partnership with TG Pals, runs a free, confidential peer-support group for all trans, intersex and non-binary gender people at the University. The group is run by non-binary people for non-binary people. View event dates, times and venues.
As of February 2018 the University 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).
Kent Union Part-Time Officer(s) for 2018-19
Charlie Hindley – LGBT+ Officer (Trans Place)
Marriage and civil partnership
In the UK marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission provide advice and guidance on marriage and civil partnership discrimination.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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 Network's blog for more information of the staff role models at Kent.