Shagony aunt: the queer edition
Self love, celebration and lovely pink flamingos
This week I’ve decided to answer just one particular question which I think is fab and applies to a lot of people who identify as being LGBTQ:
I think I might be bisexual but I’ve never been with a woman before. How can I meet queer women in Cam and also become more confident in my sexuality?
First off, congrats to you for admitting something like that to yourself! It takes a lot of confidence to come to terms with your sexuality no matter who you are, and it is absolutely something to be loved and celebrated about yourself.
I think we’re really lucky that somewhere like Cambridge is a comparatively safe environment compared to others in terms of being able to come out. It’s fair to say that a lot of LGBTQ+ defining people might not have been completely out to everyone before coming here and might not be comfortable in being public about their identity until their last year, or even afterwards – everyone is different and so you shouldn’t feel as if you’re are the only one working things out. As such, it’s really important that you don’t put any pressure on yourself to go and do things that you’re not quite comfortable doing yet: self care is always crucial, but especially so when you’re going through something as important as discovering your sexuality. Take your time- you need to feel comfortable enough in your own skin before any experiences you might have.
However, I think another really good thing about studying here is the amount of advice, activities and events there are for LGBTQ people (as well as the scope to have even more!).
CUSU LGBT+ is a good source of both drinking and non drinking events run by students and graduates alike. All colleges also have some form of LGBTQ representation who organise regular events and should be there specifically to give non-biased advice and support. You should never be afraid of asking them any questions you might have! They are your way of obtaining any extra support, as well as having the duty to receive any suggestions you might have on possible events or aspects of the college that you think should be changed in order to better support students within the LGBTQ community.
There will definitely be other LGBTQ defining people in your college which, even if you don’t feel comfortable talking to them yet, is a really nice thing to be able to see. For me personally, despite the fact that I came out 3 years ago, coming to Pembroke and seeing so many people who were so comfortable in who they were made me feel really safe and valued – you’re definitely not alone in who you are or how you’re feeling! There are also always things going on on Facebook, even if you just want to have a look, and for everyone who likes clubbing there is always Glitterbomb.
Ah Glitterbomb. We love to hate it but honestly bopping along to Sissy, that walk at 2am with men in aggressively bright underwear and all your queer friends off their tits (on either the VK’s Ru Paul or both) can be the soul food you need to get through the week.
A lot of LGBTQ reps organise pres beforehand, so even if they aren’t happening in your own college they’ll definitely be going on elsewhere. The fab thing about these events is that there’s no pressure to drink and it is one of the best ways to meet LGBTQ people from other colleges as well as your own, both in a chirpse and non-chirpse sense.
Talking of chirpsing though, I can’t stress enough that you should not go to any of these events to find somebody, (specifically queer women in your case) especially if you’re just coming to terms with your sexuality. It only ever feels a bit shit afterwards: either you do pull somebody but feel kind of strange for going out just to pull them or nothing happens and you walk home solo with your Gardies, only to put on Adele and sob your glittery eyes out in your room at 4am, wallowing in your own intoxicated loneliness and the disgusting amount of garlic mayo that you spilled on your carpet while you were dramatically miming to Set Fire To The Rain (this has NEVER happened to me).
For now, before even thinking about any experiences you might have with women, including sexual experiences, just focus on being confident in yourself and who you are as well as meeting other similarly fab people. The reality is that although you might find someone queer through LGBTQ events you’re also likely to find people whatever you’re doing just due to the large amount of us in Cam. I met my girlfriend at our mutual friend’s birthday pres for a pretty non-gay Sunday Life, ending up with me drunkenly telling her quite a few times about how I really like the way she rolled a cig in the smoking area, thinking I was edgy and original, but actually just sounding like a bit of a desperate knob (still worked though so there’s hope for all you queer edgy knobs out there).
Point being though, you will find beautiful people in so many places, some of them LGBTQ oriented and some in just the shitty smoking area of Life and it will just happen! But most importantly, remember that the only person who can really be the most confident in your sexuality is you, and that it is something you should absolutely celebrate.