Getting involved with the Cambridge LGBT+ community: A guide
Tips from the CUSU LGBT+ Committee
A number of Queerbridges recently have outlined experiences of not feeling a part of the LGBT+ community in Cambridge. CUSU LGBT+ thought we’d try to rectify that by creating a "how to" style guide to getting involved! You’re always welcome to approach us with any questions or concerns. You can contact us in multiple ways: our Facebook page, email, or our contact form.
So, where’s a good place to start?
Your college LGBT+ reps
Why not attend some of the events run by the LGBT+ reps at your college? Lots of colleges have vibrant LGBT+ communities and run a whole host of different events—from Glitterbomb pres to LGBTea and Cake! And if, for any reason, you don’t feel comfortable attending your college's events, contact us and we’ll put you in contact with another college who will be more than happy to have you.
RAG Blind Date
A good way to raise money for charity and meet new people – whether you’re looking for love or to make new friends, RAG Blind Date is coming up again this term. Follow RAG’s Facebook page to stay updated, while Newnham is also hosting a LGBT+ speed dating event this term.
FUSE is Cambridge’s network for LGBT+ people of colour. They organise social events, run campaigns, and share information and resources throughout the year; follow their Facebook page to stay updated.
CUSU LGBT+ events
Some shameless plugging! We run a huge range of events, from bar socials to film nights to writing groups, including events for the different constituent identities of the LGBT+ community, such as ace/aro and trans/NB coffee meets. And, during May Week, we run the annual Rainbow Ball, a perfect way to celebrate the end of the year in style! We’re always happy to take suggestions for events, so let us know if you have any ideas. Check out our termcard for full details of our upcoming events and make sure you join our group, and mailing list to stay updated.
With LGBT+ History Month coming up in February, CamQueerHistory will be running a series of events throughout the month, including various talks and a film screening; visit their website for full details.
The Encompass Network organise and advertise various LGBT+ events and activities in and around Cambridge, including the intergenerational Sing Out Cambridge LGBT+ Community Choir. This is another great way to escape the University bubble. Encompass have a mailing list you can join here.
CUSU LGBT+ Family Scheme
At the start of every year, we run a family scheme based on the college family model. You can sign up to be a child no matter what year of study you’re in if you feel you’d benefit from it! This is a great entry point into getting involved in the LGBT+ community at Cambridge, no matter how long you’ve already been here, and often leads to solid inter-college and inter-year friendships.
Waterstones Cambridge LGBT+ Book Club
Waterstones now runs an LGBT+ book club, focusing on books with an LGBT+ theme.
Queer Women in Cambridge Facebook Group
This group is intergenerational and open to all women and NB people living in Cambridge, and events (etc.) are often posted in there that you might not see advertised elsewhere.
Diamonds Transgender Support and Social Group
A friendly and informal transgender support and social group based in Cambridge, Diamonds is open to all, not just students.
The Kite Trust
The Kite Trust offers free support for LGBT+ people under the age of 25, in and around Cambridge. They also run free social groups and a trans-specific social group. You can visit their website here.
If you’re looking for a church in Cambridge, both St Giles’ on Castle Street and Downing Place United Reform Church are welcoming of LGBT+ people. Also keep an eye out for the Open Table services run by many college chapels.
Dot Cotton Club Night
If you’re looking for a Glitterbomb alternative, Dot Cotton runs on the first Saturday of every month at Q-Club, near the train station. This can be a good way to escape the university bubble as people from all over Cambridge attend.
You’ve probably heard of this one! The highlight of many a week, Glitterbomb—Cambridge’s weekly LGBT+ club night—runs every Tuesday of term at Vinyl. There have been a lot of Queerbridges lately about not having people to go to Glitterbomb with—coming along to one of our bar socials means you won’t have to go alone! We know clubbing isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but at our bar socials there’s no pressure to drink or go out afterwards; they’re also just great opportunities to meet new people. Our first bar social of term will be at Wetherspoons on Regent Street on Tuesday 22nd January from 9pm.
This list isn’t comprehensive, but we thought we’d share it to give you some ideas—we want everybody to feel as welcome, and able to get involved, in the Cambridge LGBT+ community as possible! If you have any questions about the things listed (or anything else), feel free to get in contact, we’d be happy to answer them.
We’ve tried to include as many ideas from across Cambridge (town and gown) as possible, because we know it’s sometimes nice to escape the bubble, but we try to make our own events as inclusive and exciting as possible — if you’d like to come, we’d love to have you!
Cover image from the Rainbow Ball, photographer: Eli Beristain