Gender and Sexual Minority Students (LGBTIQA)

At Derby we are proud of the diversity of our community. As a Stonewall Diversity Champion it is important to us that we support all students from gender and sexual minorities (GSM*).

Coming out

Coming out can mean different things to different people, and will depend how visible or invisible your difference is. It is a process that does not happen just once, it continues throughout your life. How much you feel like explaining your gender and/or sexuality is a very individual thing and may change in different circumstances.

There is, of course, no requirement for you to discuss your sexuality or gender with anyone, nor should you feel the need to deny or hide who you are. The University of Derby is proud of its diversity and we believe we are better for having students and staff from different backgrounds, beliefs, cultures and who have diverse gender identity and sexuality. We are keen to support you through the transition of coming to university, exploring your sexuality and gender and coming out when and if the time is right for you.

It may be easier to join the Union of Students' LGBTF Society first, so that you know you have some sympathetic peers before coming out to others.

We do not tolerate any form of homophobic or transphobic bullying or harassment and if you encounter this you should report it to a member of staff or the Union of Students right away.

Support available

For many students coming to university will be an exciting time and experience. You may feel freer to be yourself in a university environment. However, we are aware that there are also potential problems for our GSM students and we are here to support you should these arise.

No matter what our gender identity or sexual orientation, every one of us has the potential to fall prey to emotional or psychological difficulties stemming from a huge range of issues. For gender and sexual minorities there may be additional sources of distress, for instance the stress of coming out or dealing with unaccepting or ignorant attitudes.

The University offers several sources of support for our GSM students:

If you are questioning or concerned about your gender or sexuality, you may want to explore this with one of our Psychological Wellbeing counsellors.

Feel free to contact us:

Derby Campus

T: 01332 593000

Buxton Campus

T: 01298 330414

If you are experiencing long term problems with your mental health you may be entitled to some additional support. Contact the Student Wellbeing Service to arrange an appointment to come and see us.

The Chaplaincy, Derby and the Chaplaincy, Buxton both provide a safe place to discuss issues of faith and sexuality/gender without judgment. The Chaplaincy is composed of chaplains from many Christian faiths and a team of Faith Advisors representing a variety of different faith traditions.

Support and affirmation from your peers can be extremely valuable. The Union of Students has a very active LGBT Society, which meets both for social occasions and to organise campaigns.

The Union of Students also has a professional advice service - who can meet with you to discuss support and how you can help yourself settle in to university life

You can also take some simple steps to help maintain your mental health.

Help may be available to students who are financially dependent on unsupportive parents. Please contact us in the Student Wellbeing Service to discuss this or any other issue that is concerning you.

Places to go and further resources

Derby is a relatively small and safe city. It is also relatively accepting and there isn't a large amount of reported homophobic or transphobic violence, but as with any city you should be careful.

For an up-to-date list of gay friendly venues in Derby and Buxton contact Derbyshire LGBT+. Derbyshire LGBT+ is a service run by and for gender and sexual minorities (GSM) living in Derby and Derbyshire. They provide advice, information and support as well as organising social occasions within the City.

The University also has an Equality and Diversity site, which links to information about events such as LGBT History Month and IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia)

Further resources

*GSM is a term that covers sexuality (bisexual, asexual, lesbian, gay, queer or questioning) and Sex/Gender (intersex, transgender, transsexual, queer or questioning). It is replacing LGBTIQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, Asexual) as a more inclusive and straightforward term.