This Pride Month, we are talking to LGBTQ+ members of the King’s College London community to find out what Pride means to them. If you would like to share what Pride means to you, please email the team at email@example.com.
In our first edition of ‘What Pride Means to Me’ we speak to Andrew Hall. He is a qualified social worker who studied Psychology at the University of Birmingham. He’s a queer, cisgender man who is currently working as a Faculty Wellbeing Advisor in King’s Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine.
Being queer means having space to explore
I grew up in rural Wiltshire, which isn’t a very diverse place. It wasn’t until I was an undergraduate in Birmingham that I began to accept my sexuality wasn’t fixed or clear-cut. I was attracted to both men and women.
For a while, I identified as bisexual, but that word never felt like it expressed who I am. I experienced biphobia at university, from some straight people but also from some members of the LGBTQ+ community. At that time (2014), there seemed to be rigid expectations of how a ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ man should act, and I didn’t resonate with either stereotype.
That’s why I love the term queer. It allows me to be curious, exploring who I am rather than someone else putting my identity in a box.
What Pride means to me
I’m privileged in many ways: I’m white, cisgender, and my family accept and support me. Pride Month is an opportunity for me to stand united with other people across the LGBTQ+ community, including those who may not be as fortunate.
There’s a lot of fracturing over LGBTQ+ issues at the moment, within the movement and in wider society. I think that the othering of trans people comes in part from the same reductive impulse to put people into boxes that I experienced at university, and it’s critical to push back against that.
Pride helps bring different groups together. We’re strongest when we’re united, asserting our freedom to explore and be ourselves.
We’re all still learning
My advice to anyone who wants to support the LQBTQ+ community at King’s? Be open to improving your knowledge and learning from mistakes.
I’ve spent the last six months reading up about trans experiences because I felt, strongly, that I didn’t know enough about trans people’s struggles. If you’re interested, Shon Faye’s The Transgender Issue is a great place to start.
None of us are completely free from prejudice, and none of us get it right all the time. But we can stay curious and hold up our hands if and when we get something wrong – it all adds up.
Get involved & make a difference this Pride Month
- Join our LGBTQ+ staff network Proudly King’s or attend one of their events here.
- Check out our Pride student news article which is full of useful links here.
- Pride Month Step-Out challenge! Join Proudly King’s & King’s Sport in a 28, 06,69 step challenge in June and July to commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month and summer activities whilst keeping active. Sign up on the King’s Move app from 12th June here!
Want to Learn more about Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s College London?
- Found out more by visiting our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at King’s pages.
- Follow us on Twitter.
- Email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org