This February, we are celebrating LGBT+ History Month, taking the time to look back on LGBT+ history, celebrate all the wins and commemorate important milestones. At this time, we especially want to make sure LGBT+ students always know how to access support while at university, and know what resources are available. At LSESU, our top priority is making sure that you, as a student, feel welcome, supported, and safe during your time at the LSE, so we have combined a list of resources that can help you understand what support is available to you, and how to find it.
How can the LSE Students’ Union support me?
The LGBTQ+ Society is an award-winning, student-run society of 200+ members, open to all students and allies across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. With activities ranging from social events to political discussions and LGBTQ+ specific career- and networking events, this is an amazing way to meet people and find your LGBTQ+ community at the LSE.
Your elected LGBTQ+ Officer, Arya Barkesseh, is here to listen to and represent the concerns and priorities of LGBT+ students at the LSE. Arya works alongside your elected Sabbatical Officers to enact positive change across the LSE and make sure that LGBT+ students’ voices are being heard and represented. You can always reach out to him if you have any questions or would like to have a chat about your experience at the LSE. The previous LGBTQ+ Officer has also prepared a very helpful LGBTQ+ Student Guide that contains a variety of resources (varying from sexual health clinics and mental health organizations to LGBT+ modules available at LSE) to help support you and your community.
How can the LSESU Advice Team support me?
Our advisers from the Advice Team are always happy to talk to you about any concerns or questions you might have. We provide free, confidential advice to all students at the LSE, and they can tell you about additional sources of support or resources that are available to you. We can also guide you through the process of making a report using Report It, Stop It, or making a complaint. 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. We also administer the Childcare Fund, which you can apply to if you are having trouble paying for childcare due to unexpected circumstances.
How can the LSE support me?
The LSE is committed to creating a working and learning environment where everyone can achieve their full potential free from any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying. This includes bullying or harassment based on gender identity and sexual orientation. If you are experiencing bullying or discrimination, you can report it (anonymously, if you wish) through the online Report It, Stop It tool. The LSE also has a number of Safe Contacts, who are specially trained members of staff and will support you (in full confidentiality) if you have experienced any sort of bullying, harassment, violence or discrimination. You can also find the School Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy here and you can find out how to make a complaint here. If you have any questions about these policies, you can always contact our Advice Team who would be happy to discuss them with you in more detail.
You can also access free, confidential counselling (for up to six sessions) through the Student Counselling Service, a team of trained counselling professionals at the LSE, where you can discuss any concerns related to your mental health or personal life.
The LSE also has a database of LGBT+ role models and allies at the School, which you can access by logging in with your LSE login-details.
For current students, the LSE provides options for gender neutral titles (i.e. Mx) in student records. You can change your gender identity on the system as soon as you join the LSE or during your studies on LSE For You. Changing the official name in student records requires official documentation such as drivers’ license confirming your gender identity.
Where else can I get support?
There is a variety of resources and support systems available to LGBT+ individuals and communities outside of the LSE and LSESU. Here is a list of a few great organizations you can reach out to, but make sure to take a look at the LGBTQ+ Student Guide for more resources!
Switchboard: Switchboard is run exclusively by volunteers who self-identify as LGBT+. They act as a confidential listening service, and can signpost you to support groups, trans-friendly therapists and other information.
Galop: Galop offers support services to LGBT+ individuals who are experiencing hate crime, domestic abuse and sexual violence. They run a dedicated Trans Advocacy and Community Development Service if you are experiencing any form of transphobia.
Stonewall: Stonewall is the largest LGBT+ rights organization in Europe, which provides a fantastic amount of information and support. You can speak to their information line or search their website.
CATCH: CATCH is a London-based group of charities working to end hate crime by giving specialist advice and helping those who have been targeted with violence or harassment because of their identity.
A note on confidentiality
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 Gerda Kovacs.
Gerda works as an Advice Assistant at the LSESU Advice Service
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).
Our service is currently operating using a hybrid working pattern. We are still open and can be accessed by emailing email@example.com. You can also book a telephone or Zoom appointment with an adviser through Student Hub.