delirium happy

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LGBT stuff
delirium happy
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Around about a week or so ago, I was having a conversation about university LGBT societies, and how I felt that it's important that they do what they can to make sure that they're open and easily approachable by the people who are nervous or unsure about their sexual orientation or their gender identity, and how it's important that the people who are comfortable and happy try to provide a good environment for helping out those who aren't. As a result of this, I ended up emailing the LGBT officer here, and asking her what things were like in our LGBT association as far as trans stuff was concerned.

We emailed back and forth a few times, and the basic gist of things was that the LGBT here hasn't really ever done any trans related stuff, because they've never had any trans people come to them, or want to get involved, or anything like that. It's a wonderful vicious circle: they can't do anything because there are no trans people there, and no trans people want to go there because they don't do anything for trans people. So she was really very enthusiastic at me and wanting me to get involved, and what have you.

So we arranged to meet up in person and talk things through, which we did yesterday, just after my last lecture. Scarily enough, this was the first time I'd ever spoken to anyone in the university other than staff, physicists and friends of friends since freshers' week two years ago, saddo that I am. But anyway, we got on very well, and had a nice chat for about an hour and a half or so, and we're both generally very keen for me to get involved in things.

It seems likely that I'm going to get co-opted onto the committe as transgender convenor this tuesday. Which is neat. But also somewhat scary. Apparently, if I do, then it would also be the first time that the role has been filled in the five or so years that it's actually existed. Again, neat but scary. From the emailing and the chatting, one of the things that we're likely to try to do soon is some sort of trans awareness campaign aimed at all the LGB folks, which sounds worthwhile.

But I have a question for all you good folks out there. Some of you have filled similar roles at other universities in the past, I believe, or in other ways probably have experience that might be relevant for me. Do you have any advice or suggestions? And for those of you who don't have any such experience but who do have gender issues yourself, what sort of things would you (have) like(d) to see your university or your university's LGBT do to make life easier or funner for you? I know that there are a bunch of you reading this who have gender issues of some sort or other, so some of you must have some good insight. I know what's relevant for me, but I'm only one person and only have one person's experiences.

Comments are screened, since I think there are a few of you who are either stealth about gender stuff, or not yet out to the world at large. However, if you want for your comment to stay screened, please say so explicitly in the comment, otherwise I'll unscreen.

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Wow. I have no input or information for you, but I wish to give you my support. Go you!

(Deleted comment)
We were apparently voted the fifth best uni in the country to be queer at in some recent poll or something like that, so yes, they are generally progressive and non-sucky. And Cat (the LGBT officer with the SU, who was who I spoke to) was very cool and with-it and progressive. So yes, I'm confident.

Unscreen if you wish; I'm completely out.

The best thing in the world that the Oxford LGBT group did was inventing LGB Tea. We met once a week, a regular thing, in people's rooms (this might work less well if people mostly live out at your university, but you could very probably get round this), and we had tea. And cake and conversation and it was nice. IME most LGB societies really lack events that are not either a) political, or b) centred round alcohol and pulling.

LGB Tea was about as non-threatening as a university society event can be; people would just turn up and hang out, nothing more was expected than that. There was an unwritten no pulling rule; people didn't show up with partners and spend the whole time canoodling in a corner, and neither did they go there to check out the talent. There were a lot of friendships (as opposed to couples!) that came out of it, and loads of the missing lesbians showed up. (Another problem with uni LGB groups is that they tend to be heavily male dominated.)

Oh, and the people who weren't out to their parents told them that it was a tea appreciation society, and didn't bother mentioning the LGB bit!

I didn't (knowingly) meet any trans folk while I was at university, so I have nothing to say about that aspect.

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