UEA Pride wins LGBT Society of the Year

They’ve done us proud


Last night UEA Pride picked up the NUS award for LGBT+ Society of the Year.

The awards recognise the contribution of LGBT societies across universities in the UK, as well as individual students whose work has been particularly progressive.

This year UEA Pride worked extremely hard to increase membership. Under the guidance of 2014/15 LGBT+ officer Dan Wrigglesworth, Pride stepped away from the drinking culture often associated with LGBT+ societies, creating a campaigning and peer support network.

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Newly elected LGBT+ officer Theo Antoniou-Phillips said: “I’m really pleased that NUS has recognised the hard work that so many people put into making UEA Pride a great peer support group.

“The committee has put countless hours into bringing regular sober socials, welfare meetings, panel events and a great Transgender awareness campaign. I’m very proud of them all!”

New LGBT+ officer Theo

New LGBT+ officer Theo

Dan added: “Winning this is simply amazing. Last year my first Pride event was so scary to me the first thing I did was call my boyfriend at the time, so this year I wanted it to be more open and welcoming and also for it to do what it is meant to and run welfare sessions.

“From Transgender Day of Remembrance, asexuality awareness and running our book club, we have changed this year for the better and having that recognised is the best feeling in the world.”

2014/15 officer Dan

2014/15 officer Dan

This year Pride worked particularly hard to reach out to underrepresented groups such as transgender students. T-Time (trans conversation coffee) and electing welfare reps who ran lounge sessions directly improved the engagement by providing a support base for students for their emotional development.

LGBT+ member and trans welfare rep Mattie Carter

LGBT+ member and trans welfare rep Mattie Carter

Campaigns over this academic year have ranged from Trans Awareness Week, World Aids Day, non-binary representation, UEA World Café, outreach talk in local primary schools and the It Gets Better video.

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Rainbow coloured cups were used for hot drinks in Unio, and white board messages of “I will fight transphobia because…” enabled the society to interact with other non-LGBT+ identifying students.

In the video, Theo says: “Although it feels like there’s no one you can turn to, there will be someone you can turn to so don’t feel alone. Trust someone. But then also trust yourself, trust your feelings, and don’t feel too down about yourself.”