Gender Expression Fund made available to Warwick students

The money can be used for gender affirming items

A Gender Expression Fund has been introduced at the University of Warwick. The community-led fund offers transgender, non-binary, and gender-non-conforming students up to £50 of funding for gender affirming items.

It has been organised by Warwick Pride (the uni’s Liberation Association for LGBTQUIA+ students and their friends) and has been made possible by The Warwick Innovation Fund, through the donations of alumni, friends and supporters.

Some of the gender affirming items students may wish to purchase with the fund include, but are not limited to: new clothes/underwear, chest binders, breast forms, packers, wigs, affirming sports/ swimwear, makeup/nail varnish, and pronoun badges.

The application website provides links to suggested UK-based retailers for gender-affirming items.

Suggested retailers for gender-affirming items.

On the website, Warwick Pride wrote that going away to uni is the first time many students will live away from home, affording them the “privacy and security to explore and affirm sexual orientation and gender identity in a welcoming and accepting environment.” However, there are still barriers to gender affirmation, such as students not having the funds to spare for “life-changing” gender-affirming items.

Warwick Pride explained: “LGBTQUIA+ students are 6% less likely to be satisfied with their university experience, 5% more likely to have seriously considered dropping out of university, 7% less likely to feel that the university cares about their wellbeing, and 6% less likely to agree that there is a strong sense of community at the university, compared to non-LGBTQUIA+ students.

“It is of great importance to address these disparities to ensure the happiness, health, and subsequent success of LGBTQUA+ students at Warwick. With this project, we aim to make a difference to their University experience.”

Applications for funding are now open, until February 6th. They will be then be assessed solely by transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse members of Warwick Pride’s exec. The society explained the reason behind this application process: “This addresses the significant barriers posed when applying for similar funds administered by those outside of the community.

“LGBTQUIA+ students fear disclosure to and judgement from those outside the community assessing their needs, with whom the knowledge and appreciation of their needs is not guaranteed.”

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