Before I came to university, I used to sit at a table in College called the ‘Lesbian Table.’ Not because I was a lesbian, but because they were my friends.
That was my first experience with the LGBT community: the lesbian community. It made me question whether I liked girls, even though I still knew I liked boys as well. After some research and talking to people I found out I was bisexual. I also met someone who was transgender, though I didn’t really understand what that meant until I came to DMU.
As soon as I knew I was coming to DMU I went searching for a community I could be a part of and I found what I was looking for; the LGBT+ society Facebook page. I didn’t speak to anyone at first, but I joined them on a night out where they took me to the local scene. From then on, it was like a family had formed. No longer did I have to dread going back to my room at Newark, no longer did I have to join in if my flatmates were going somewhere I didn’t feel comfortable. I had a place.
While a part of the society in those first few weeks, through fresher’s fair, their welcome bar crawl and Halloween I learnt more about myself. I discovered the term pansexual, a word I had definitely not learnt of before, and it fit with me. I didn’t care whether they were male or female, or as I soon learnt anything in between or outside those genders. It was about who they were as a person. When I told my family I found they were more than accepting. They knew they had raised me right. Which made me feel even more confident about myself.
In that first year of being a part of the society, I noticed how they lacked a social media presence and weren’t talking about all the amazing things that they were doing. So I offered my services and thus a new position on the committee was formed in my first year. I became close with the chair of the society, who shares the same birthday as me, and as I went into my second year I became the co-chair with him.
And so, I learned more about sexualities, genders and the difference between sexuality and romance! We shared videos and articles, created discussions and I would like to think the society had its best year yet!
It was over the summer that I was speaking to my best friend about a friend I had made, who was asexual. This was a term which had become familiar to me and eventually resonated with me. So within two years I’d gone from bisexual, to pansexual, to asexual. It made me realise how fluid sexuality, gender and romance can be. It can change as you mature, or when you learn more or you get to know people – university is just the place for that.
That brings me to my third year, where I stand up for the launch of Pride, proud to be part of the LGBT+ community both within the university and in the wider Leicester community. I’m even prouder to be a part of the Plus, where I fight for the rights and education and tolerance along with the rest of the community.
One piece of advice I would have to give is if you ever have questions. Just ask. We don’t bite, unless you want us too.