All the support networks available to LGBTQ+ students in York
Whatever you are facing, there is plenty of support available
Moving to a new city for university, whilst exciting, can be incredibly challenging, and even more so as an LGBTQ+ Student.
Therefore in honour of pride month, we thought it appropriate to celebrate York’s LGBTQ+ Community, and to provide our readers with a list of the best services supporting, championing, and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in the city of, and the University of York.
YUSU LGBTQ+ Network
The YUSU LGBTQ Network is run by the Student’s Union LGBTQ+ Officers and is aimed to support and represent all LGBTQ+ students within the university. The Network runs community social events, promotes health and wellbeing, and campaigns on LGBTQ+ issues such as campaigning for all gender toilets on campus.
The York Tab spoke to Matt and Dan of the YUSU LGBTQ+ Network to find out more about what they do: “The LGBTQ+ Network is a liberation network run by us – Matt and Dan – the elected LGBTQ+ Officers. As a network we don’t just offer support & signpost services, we also run events for the community! For example, we ran a Queer Cabaret back in October 2020, we’re helping to organise Student Pride 2021 and we’ve also hosted guest speakers to talk about things such as trans rights in the UK, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the LGSM movement.
“We also campaign for positive changes at the University of York. Our current campaigns are focused on getting more all gender toilets on Heslington West campus, as well as looking into making self-identification easier through online university systems such as e:Vision and Blackboard Collaborate.”
They went on to say: “During LGBT+ History Month, we published some support services – available nationally, and locally at the University – for students to access should they need them. You can find these on our social media accounts, listed on here. We, as a network and as elected officers, are also always here to support you if you need it. Simply drop us a message, let us know and we’ll be happy to help however we can.”
YUSU Advice and Support Centre
The YUSU Advice and Support Centre, ran by the Students Union, provides independent and confidential advice and guidance to students on academic, welfare and personal issues. In particular, the ASC has information for LGBTQ+ Students regarding wellbeing issues. Appointments can be made with the Advice and Support team by emailing this Confidential Advice Record to [email protected].
The LGBTQ Social provides a friendly, open community environment for all LGBTQ+ students at the University of York. The society hold twice weekly events such as LGBTQ+ Quizzes and this week’s Student Pride at The Forest (Tickets for which can be found here.)
The LGBTQ Social “aim to provide a sense of community for students who may feel anxious to attend other events because of their sexual orientation/identity and foster connections with other societies in the university to promote inclusivity.”
Annual membership costs just £5 and can be purchased here.
York LGBT Forum
Whilst not affiliated with the University, The York LGBT Forum is a charity that strives to improve LGBTQ+ rights in York by advocating for social inclusion, equality, and the advancement of LGBTQ+ education. Beyond this, the York LGBT Forum offers mental health support, information, and advice to anyone in need.
The York LGBT Form is also a great organisation for volunteering and participating in community events such as Trans and Non-Binary confidence workshops, LGBT Coffee Socials, and many more which can be found in their events calendar.
Yorkshire MESMAC York
Yorkshire’s largest LGBT+ Sexual and Mental Health Charity, Yorkshire MESMAC is a great confidential service for LGBTQ+ sexual health information, counselling, and testing.
As well as free STI/HIV testing, Yorkshire MESMAC also offers free condoms and lube, online support and community groups, and one to one support chats to discuss everything from coming out to contraception.
Ran by Yorkshire MESMAC, YorQueer is a youth group for LGBTQ+ young people in York aged 14-25. Meetings are held online every Wednesday 5-7pm and those interested in more information should contact Lilly on 07710 099 033 or [email protected].
Featured Image courtesy of The YUSU LGBTQ+ Network.