To any UEA LGBT+ freshers

I know that the events of the last few days have been heart-breaking and scary, I know that for young people wanting to come out it might seem more impossible than ever, but I want to tell you now that at UEA there is a community ready and waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Over the last year I have been too caught up with my work on the Drama Society committee to be involved in many of the Pride (our LGBT+ society) events, but as a fresher they were somewhere I knew I could go and make friends and feel safe. It is an incredibly open and supportive community and I would really recommend you coming along to at least the welcome social at the beginning of the year.

This week their commitment to solidarity and activism was sorely needed following the events in Orlando, and a vigil was held in the campus square to remember the victims.

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Photo: Eastern Daily Press

Things seem awful at the moment but I just want you to know that uni can be the time when you learn to express yourself, your identity and your truth in the most supportive and loving environment imaginable. So please don’t feel when you arrive in September that you need to hide anything about who you are or who you love.

Enough words have been said by more eloquent people than me, trying to describe a tragedy for which there are no words, and therefore I would like to leave this post with a poem which I came across recently and which has stuck with me:

dirge without music

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LGBT+ History Month

Following on from Welfare Week, I thought I would talk in this post about some of the other ways UEA works to support their students.

In case you didn’t know this month is LGBT+ History Month, and the UEA Student Union and the Pride Society have organised a huge variety of events including talks and free film screenings, alongside all of the usual stuff that they put on.

LGBT History Month Speakers WEB USE

https://www.uea.ac.uk/literature/engagement/lgbt-history-month

UEA Pride is a really active and friendly society who regularly organise socials in the SU bar, nights out in Norwich, or if that’s not your cup of tea there is always the Pride Bookclub – which I can personally recommend, although opting to read extra books whilst doing an English Literature degree can feel like masochism.

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LGBT History Month isn’t just about celebration but about representation, and I would really recommend you attend some of these events even if you don’t identify as LGBT+.

On a final note, if you ever want to speak to somebody about something, the UEA Advice Centre is open every weekday (10.00 – 4.00), with drop-in sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (12.00 – 2.00).

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Unio’s cups for this month!