Student Life Centre

LGBTQ and GSRD support

LGBT symbol rainbow flag

Want support with issues related to Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity?

Do you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning your sexuality?

Do you want to be sure that Advisors will appreciate your GSDR needs and respect your identity?

All of our Student Life Advisors are skilled and experienced at working with LGBTQI students. Students should feel free to choose to see any Advisor. Sexuality is of course only one facet of our lives and personalities, and it may be the case that the issue you are bringing to the Student Life Centre relates to your health, your course or University rules and regulations. However, we also recognise that LGBTQI students can face specific barriers which may affect their experiences at University. In light of this we have ensured that the team are trained by MindOUT to anticipate, appreciate and understand a spectrum of current LGBTQI isues.

Here are some examples of issues and topics that LGBTQ students have brought to the Student Life Centre:

  • Coming out to parents
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Making friends in the LGBTQ community in Brighton and Hove
  • Support with transitioning

Appointments at the Student Life Centre are, of course, confidential and any discussions you have here will be kept within our service.

We are commited to supporting diversity and working in an actively anti-transphobic University.

University and union links

External sources of support and advice

  • Allsorts Youth Project - drop in and support services for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and unsure young people aged under 26 in Brighton and Hove. Allsorts also run a group for young people who are trans or questioning their gender identity, Transformers.
  • Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard - a telephone helpline to ‘listen, support and inform’ and a face-to-face counselling service.
  • The Clare Project - a Brighton-based support group for those wanting to explore issues around gender identity.
  • MindOut - a Brighton-based mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people.
  • Radical Rhizomes - Radical Rhizomes is a social network created by and exclusively for QTIPoC - people of colour who define as queer, trans or intersex - living, working or studying in Brighton & Hove.  

There are many other sources of support, advice, friendship and community for LGBTQ people in Brighton and Hove. If you would like to find out more about these, please get in touch. There is also more information about LGBTQ+ groups and support in the local area on the Health and Wellbeing pages.

Ways to connect with the LGBTQ community in Brighton and Hove

  • Join a local LGBTQ group. There is plenty of choice, from BLAGSS (Brighton Lesbian and Gay Sports Society) to the Lesbian and Gay book group at Jubilee Library.
  • Volunteer for a local LGBTQ group. Community volunteering can be a great way to meet new people and make friends, as well as to give something back to the local community. It can also make a refreshing change from life on campus. The Student Union’s webpage on Volunteering has links to Brighton and Hove Volunteering opportunities, and you can usually find posts with a number of LGBTQ groups like Allsorts and MindOut.
  • Go to Pride in Brighton and Hove, and look out for events all over the city on Pride weekend.
  • Attend events on campus and across the city during LGBT History Month.
  • Take yourself on a walking tour of LGBT Brighton. The Brighton Pink Plaques app for iphone will lead you on a guided tour of significant locations in Brighton’s LGBT history, with content written by local queer historian Rose Collis.

Information for trans students

The Student Life Centre offers a flexible and inclusive service that takes account of individual needs and preferences. We aim to be part of an academic environment that values and supports the diverse identities of its LGBTQ students, and plays a part in affirming those identities. Our staff have received training on supporting trans students; we recognise that everyone’s experience is unique so above all will seek to listen and respond to you as an individual.

Depending upon your needs, as a trans student you might choose to access specialist services – for example the trans support groups listed above – or you might access the range of generalist services across the university. Different types of support will be more appropriate at different times, so go with whatever feels most helpful for you.

If you are transitioning and would like some practical information on university processes, you can find it here alongside information about support and groups in the local area.

How do I change the name and photo on my ID card?

To obtain a new ID card with your chosen name, you need to visit the Print Unit in York House. You should do this after you have changed your name on the university database as described above.

Please see the Print Unit website for the specific times when their ID card service is open. Ordinarily a replacement ID Card costs £10, but where a student is getting a new card because they are transitioning, a new card is free. You will need to take your old ID card with you to return it, and to tell the Print Unit staff that you have changed your name. If you would like a new photo taken as part of your transition please also tell the staff as a new photo will not be taken automatically.

I am struggling with my mental health. What can I do?

You can speak to us here at the Student Life Centre if you feel that something is affecting your mental health. There are also more support services available to you on campus

For support outside of the university, there are many local services and also national organisations if you are not in the Brighton area.

What can I do if I feel I am being harassed or bullied?

The university strives to make the Sussex community one which is free from bullying and harassment.  Harassment and bullying of staff or students because of their gender identity or perceived gender identity will not be tolerated. In these circumstances there are various forms of support available. You can find more information on the university’s Health and Wellbeing pages. It's a good idea to seek advice and support quickly – don’t wait until the situation has become intolerable or your wellbeing has been seriously affected.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can mean any kind of physical or emotional abuse between those in a current or past intimate or family relationship. For more information about what domestic abuse can look like and how to get help, please see the Health and Wellbeing pages.

I have experienced sexual violence. What should I do?

If you have been assaulted or you feel unsafe, please follow the steps here. You can also find links for continuing support if you have previously experienced or are currently experiencing sexual violence.