Getting involved with CU Pride and LGBT+

A large rainbow flag flies at the 12th Street Beach, South Beach, Miami

The autumn term is well underway. I’m sure you all had a wonderful and wild first few weeks celebrating student life. Cardiff is a brilliant place with so much to do and see, plus a load of new people to meet. However it’s true that people take time to come out of their shells when they find themselves in a new place trying to be an ‘adult’ for the first time.

It’s with this new found freedom that coming to university is a great thing and for a lot of people it can be the first time they can truly be themselves. Someone you’ve met over the past few weeks at uni could be LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Ace, Arrow, Genderqueer, Non-Binary,) and being here has given them the chance to be open and honest about themselves by coming out, possibly for the first time.

We’re lucky enough to have two LGBT+ groups for students within Cardiff University, the society CU Pride and the LGBT+ association. My advice to you is go and explore LGBT+ Cardiff. Come and see what we do. Come and meet some interesting people who’ve been where you’ve been. They can help you make the most out of university in terms of your non academic life. When I was a fresher the first person I met, one of the welcome crew, was LGBT+. That helped me a lot as I instantly saw that you can be out and proud at our lovely university.

Coming out is something universal, the place and people might be different but the feelings, we can go through are the same. I realised I was Bi when I was 16 and came out to friends when I was 18. When I came to uni, I was looking for the LGBT+ society. Some people realise they’re LGBT+ before uni and some work it out during their time here. I’ve met people who are afraid of coming out because they’re worried about reactions from their friends. However coming out doesn’t change you as a person, but feel free to start being loud and proud if you want to though.

You’ve got the chance to become a part of a community that organises brilliant events and can support and help you through any hard times you may face. If you have the chance, go to Pride Cymru (in Cardiff) and National Student Pride in London. Help make positive changes at uni, for yourself and future students with the association. Learn more about the student movement and NUS (National Union of Students) LGBT+. After two years at Cardiff, through events like Student Pride and NUS Conferences, I’ve met people I consider friends for life, from all over the country.

So just throw yourself into university life! Thanks to the society and association I’ve had interesting experiences at uni. Most of my friends would say the same. Being out at uni opens yourself up to meeting new people and offers you chances to do many different things. In the word’s of RuPaul: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?’

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