The LGBT+ society here at the University of Southampton has a rich history, and we are committed to providing an inclusive and safe space for LGBT+ students, offering them the freedom to express and explore who they are, free from judgment.
We hope to offer a friendly, open and fun environment for students. This includes being friendly faces around campus, giving a sense of familiarity. We have our own safe space policy to ensure the society provides a safe space for all members, while we are very active in raising awareness of LGBT+ causes. Outside of providing a safe space for students, the society is active in bringing awareness to LGBT+ causes. For example, we regularly fundraise for local charities such as Chrysalis, a Southampton-based charity dedicated since its foundation in 2010 to ‘supporting transgender people and their significant others. Additionally, we also support wider causes, including fundraising for Terrance Higgins, the largest voluntary sector provider of HIV and sexual health services in the UK.
The society in three words?
Community, Visibility and Inclusivity.
How often do we meet? What do we do as a society?
We meet at least once a week and offer a plethora of events including our weekly lunches in The Bridge on alternating days of the week. We organise socials such as, The Hobbit to The Edge bar crawl, movie nights and discussion groups like ‘Coming out at University’ and ‘Trans Identity and Transitioning Panel’, offering society members a chance to talk about their experiences to one another in a safe space. There is always something going on, whether it be publicly or behind the scenes within the society, and there are socials for everyone. Outside of aforementioned events, we also go along to wider events such as Southampton Pride, Hampshire Pride and some members this summer went to London Pride in the sweltering heat.
Two highlights from this year:
The boat ball at the end of the year was a lovely time to celebrate with friends, with committee members new and old and a refreshing way to end the year. Another highlight has to be going to Student Pride in London which included a careers fair, where we nabbed loads of freebies (I’d recommend) and a night out in London.
Get in Touch:
If you wish to join the society as an ally or as an LGBT+ student, we would love to have you send us a message to our Facebook page ‘unionsouthamptonlgbt’ to be added to our secret Facebook group. Privacy is very important to us as we are aware that not everyone is out. As a 2018 study by Stonewall reported, more than two in five LGBT+ students keep their sexuality undisclosed. If you don’t have Facebook, we are present on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram @Soton_Lgbt. Finally, our website is kept up to date with our upcoming events. There also exists a tool on our website to enable the more shy newcomers to request an introduction with one of our committee members before attending their first event to avoid some of the possible stress.
Hopefully, we’ll see you around!