Sources of support for LGBTQ+ students
To mark LGBTQ+ history month, LSESU is celebrating Pride Week from 15th-19th of February 2021. Recognising the additional challenges LGBTQ+ students may face while studying at the university, we would like to provide some information on support systems available, including services bespoke to LGBTQ+ students, as well as services accessible by the whole LSE student body, to help you, your friends and course mates, feel welcomed in the LSE community.
LSE STUDENTS' UNION HELP
The LSESU is run by students, for students. Our goal is to support you through your time at LSE via a range of methods including developing social communities, hosting events and providing an opportunity for campaigns and projects to drive change.
On our website there is a section created specifically for LGBTQ+ students. It contains a variety of information on sources of support at LSE and beyond and is regularly updated by our LGBT+ Officer, who is responsible for listening to and voicing the concerns of LGBTQ+ students. We also have four full-time Sabbatical Officers who cover different areas of student support: General Secretary, Community and Welfare, Education and Activities and Development and a number of other part-time officers, who are happy to help you. Our LGBT+ Officer has built a fantastic guide for LGBTQ+ students, which covers a wide range of topics (varying from sexual health clinics and mental health organisations to Queer modules available at LSE) and can be found here.
The LSESU Pride Alliance is the society for students who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as allies. By becoming a part of the LSESU Pride Alliance, people of all genders and sexualities can find a safe and celebratory space to meet, share their experiences and have fun. You can also get involved in their campaigns or apply for leadership roles within their committee.
This year, your Students' Union is running the LSESU LGBTQ+ Campaign, a first-ever campaign focused on supporting and improving LGBTQ+ students experiences at LSE. If you would like to get involved in the campaign, you can do so by signing the petition available here.
LSESU Advice Team
Our advisers in the LSESU Advice Service would be more than happy to speak about any concerns you may have. The LSESU Advice Team provides confidential advice and signposts to useful resources and services, available for students at LSE. We also administer the Hardship Fund which can provide financial support to students who are facing difficulties affording their basic living expenses as a result of unexpected circumstances.
LSE is committed to equality. Whether from a fellow student or a member of staff, if you experience anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, homophobia or transphobia while at LSE, there are people trained to support you through this. There are a number of Safe Contacts at LSE, who are trained staff volunteers across the school who can provide confidential support to any student who has experienced bullying, harassment or sexual violence. You can choose to report instances of concern via the Report It, Stop It tool, either anonymously or by providing your contact details for future reference. The LSESU Advice Team can also help guide you through the support opportunities and seek an outcome that makes you feel safe and respected.
The School Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy can be found here and the Complaints procedure here. Both of these documents are useful sources of information, they are however, quite lengthy so if you would like to discuss them in more detail or would like some clarity, our Advisers in the LSESU Advice Service can help you navigate them.
You can change your personal details, including gender title and preferred “known as” name on LSE for You. The staff at the Student Services Centre will be more than happy to support you with any official name changes (such as would show on your transcript), currently official documentation is required for this.
LSE Student Counselling Service
LSE has a number of trained professional counsellors who work in the Student Counselling Service. They offer a private and confidential space where you can discuss any concerns with your mental health and personal life. They currently operate remotely due to Covid-19. They can provide up to six free sessions. There is also an outside of hours service available here. They also organise a range of workshops throughout the year on topics like anxiety and mindfulness.
All of the above services operate in a confidential manner; however, you may feel more comfortable speaking to someone external to the school.
Switchboard: Switchboard provide a confidential support service, run exclusively by volunteers who self-identify as LGBTQ+. They have a dedicated helpline and live chat feature and offer email support.
Galop: Galop is a charity providing support services to LGBQT+ individuals who are experiencing hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence. They can be contacted via email, online form or phone helpline.
Stonewall: Stonewall is a LGBTQ+ rights charity which provides a fantastic amount of information and support. You can speak to their information line or search their website.
There are also a range of charities who specialise in other specific issues, such as suicide prevention, carers, alcohol/substance abuse, mental health, sexual violence or more. The NHS has a useful list of these here.
Every support service (both internal and external) operates within a confidential framework. This means that anything discussed remains private and is not shared with anyone outside of the service (such as your department or family) without your consent. The only exception to this is if there is if something of an exceptional nature is disclosed, such as if there is a concern that there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or other people.
Blog written by Dani Gruszka.
Dani works as an Advice Assistant in the LSESU Advice Team.
The LSESU Advice Team
The LSESU Advice Team is based on the 3rd floor of the Saw Swee Hock Building and we provide free, independent and confidential advice to all LSE students on academic and housing matters. We also administer the Hardship Fund, the Childcare Fund and the Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF).
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, we will not be on campus for Lent Term. However, we are still open and can instead be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book a telephone or Zoom appointment with an adviser through Student Hub.