Supporting LGBTQ+ students

Some background information:

Unhappy LGBTQ+ students 96%
Gay youths distressed by bullying 85%   (NUS)
Trans youth:  
Attempted suicide    48%
Seriously considered suicide 56% 
Experienced harassment at college 81%    (SU UCA)

Gender reassignment is a long (and expensive) process; trans students may be taking hormones/having psychological support throughout their university years. They will miss classes, lectures and may feel isolated because of this. Changing their names by deed poll does not give them privacy since they must use their birth names on entrance forms and thus need to explain themselves. checked homophobic language on Twitter:

‘So gay’:  av. 10,000 times daily
No homo: c.10,000 times daily
Faggot: 45,000 times daily
Dykes: av. 4,000 times daily

How to help:

Language: check that this includes marginalised communities, e.g. ‘Good morning, everyone’ will cover every identity. (NB There are 50 different genders. See online Genderbread material.)

  • Don’t assume anyone’s identity.
  • Trust community definitions of what is homophobia/transphobia.
  • Be aware that everyone in the room might not know or understand issues surrounding LBGTQ+: not all communities are liberated; there is more than one queer experience.
  • Understand your privilege.
  • Challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Further reading:

Panti’s Abbey Theatre Dublin speech

From: Riley Clowes workshop, ‘Queer to Learn’ (UCA Farnham 14.11.18)