LGBT+

Who Can You Talk To?

Eddie Greaves , Freshers’ Rep, and Rob Callaghan , Postgrad and Mature Students’ Rep, introduce themselves and their roles within the society

photo-talking-bubbles-istock_000006855981smallHey, I’m the Freshers’ Rep for the LGBT+ Society. I study Maths and, unsurprisingly, I’m a fresher myself. My job is to welcome all the freshers to the society and make them feel welcome. I also help deal with any fresher specific issues that people feel need addressing.

I was quite lucky to start with because normally the society doesn’t attract many freshers, so the rep spends most of the year trying to boost numbers instead of actually doing their job, but this year we’ve had a massive intake from the first year, so I’ve got the chance to actually fulfil the role as it was intended to be done.

Having said that the society always loves new members so I feel like briefly sharing some stories in case some people are undecided as to whether they would like to get involved or not. The society is a fantastic chance to meet loads of like-minded people to talk to, become friends with, go on nights out with or share and discuss ideas with.

[pullquote]Some of my new best friends of my life are from the society.[/pullquote]

We turn no one away and, personally, some of my new best friends of my life are from the society. It’s always a great laugh whenever I’m with them and I would recommend coming along to anyone. It’s free, so what do you have to lose? If you need any advice or want to talk to any member of the committee, get in touch and I can point you in the right direction.

Eddie Greaves – edgreaves@hotmail.co.uk

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I remember returning home for the first time since going to university. There was a towel on the end of my bed. Not my ordinary slightly frayed towel, but a new white fluffy one. It suddenly hit me that I was not at home at all – I was a guest in my parents’ house. I doubt there are many students who returned home over Christmas without having a similar experience. Perhaps some small piece of family news will have passed you by. Or worse, you find in your room, not a new towel, but a lodger.

Some things don’t change though. No one will ever make me laugh as hard as my brothers because they know me better than anyone. Our in-jokes and obscure Simpsons references would leave most people baffled, but almost two decades living in each others’ pockets means you can’t help but know each other completely. However much you might have insisted otherwise as an adolescent, they do understand you.

You can see it in the eyes of nervous freshers. Their worries are more fundamental than whether they will make any friends – it’s whether anyone will even understand them. It’s why virtually everyone you make friends with in the first few weeks tells you they have a weird sense of humour (They don’t. They like videos of cats. Like everyone else.) They eventually discover that everyone else is as weird as they are. Being ‘guest-towelled’ by my parents felt like a big thing because the people whose weirdness I most shared had begun, quite naturally, to drift away.

I’m the Postgrad and Mature Students’ Rep in the LGBT+ Society. I asked a member of society at Freshers’ Fair why it
was that there was any need for it. Isn’t it strange that people with wildly different identities and experiences decide to get together? He disagreed – in the same way the Maths Society shares their interest in Maths, LGBT+ shares their weirdness. We’re no one’s second family – that would be, well, weird.

In the same way my brothers and I love the Simpsons (Seasons 1 to 7), LGBT+ folk have similar references. Everyone’s got a coming out story, or a not coming out story. Everyone’s tried to hook-up online or hates the idea. Everyone’s met a homophobic douchebag or punched a homophobic douchebag. Everyone , apparently, loves Doctor Who (I can’t stand it). And so we get together. You should come.

Rob Callaghan – callaghanrw@cardiff.ac.uk

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