London is a vibrant city that is home to many LGBT+ people. Moving here was one of the many reasons I chose to come out. Here are five other reasons why I felt University was the right time for me:
1. LGBT+ Staff
After only a few weeks at UAL it was clear that not only was there a lot of other LGBT+ students but also teachers and other staff members too. It made it easier to be myself whilst being surrounded by people of all ages who I can relate to. Coming from a small town, that was a very unusual feeling and a pleasant surprise.
2. New Platforms
It was scary to think that I might not meet new people like myself, but with societies like the UAL LGBTQ society, it was clear that there was the representation and space for me here. As well as this, the topic of LGBT+ history, politics, fashion and much more have been present in my classes too. I have even built projects on the topic.
3.No Tolerance for Discrimination
The University has an Equal Opportunities Policy which aims to prevent discrimination and harassment due to sexual orientation or gender. Although, it sounds simple and straightforward, knowing that this is in place is comforting. UAL also offers support to students in the form of the counselling service and the multi-faith chaplaincy. As well as gender-neutral toilets in a lot of its campuses. For more information visit UAL's diversity pages.
Watching London Pride on television is one thing but having the chance to go in person, with fellow students, is a whole different ballgame. Along with pride, UAL has put on exhibitions such as the museum of Transology and panels for discussions. This opens up so many avenues to explore and made me want to learn more and share my story with others.
5. New home, new me
London is huge! Being one person amongst many different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs made it feel easier to embrace my own identity. It also made my sexuality feel less like of an identifier but instead one of many pieces that build my identity. Most people are just trying to buy their expensive coffee, moan about public transport and discuss the weather. Which is me on most days, just with a few more rainbows.
Image by Camila Gloriso from London Pride 2017