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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Falcon-Martini Hallett is a Faculty Wellbeing Advisor at King’s, and the team’s lead on LGBTQ+ student support. He’s currently studying for an MSc in Therapeutic Counselling. James is originally from the North-West of England and now lives in London with his husband, Mau.
I’ve always been a bit different
Who I am is always in flux. I tend to tell straight people I’m gay, and LGBTQ+ people that I’m queer: different words feel appropriate at different times.
I grew up in Lancashire, and I’m from a working-class, single-parent family. I came out early, when I was around 12 years old, but even before there was a sense that I was different: I’d be described as ‘soft’ or ‘sensitive’.
My close family were always supportive of me, particularly my mum, although a lot of my wider family cut off contact when I came out because of their religious beliefs.
I felt a lot of guilt and shame throughout my teenage years but finding my community really helped me to come to terms with who I am and embrace my identity.
Looking for a place to be me
I’ve lived in London for the past 10 years now and what drew me here is what keeps me here: I love how cosmopolitan it is!
Much like the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, we’re all these different people, with different experiences, sort of held together in the same space. There’s so much opportunity to connect and learn from other people.
I think it’s so important for LGBTQ+ folks to create a sense of community, because sadly we often grow up feeling quite alone, and it can be powerful to be together with others who share our experience.
What Pride means to me
To me, Pride is a celebration of possibility and potential; of all the various intersecting identities that create our community; of hoping for a future in which we’re free to just be ourselves.
Trans members of our community are particularly suffering at the hands of incredibly hateful and dangerous rhetoric at the moment, and I hope this Pride can be a protest, and an affirmation that our community won’t be divided.
In my role as a Faculty Wellbeing Advisor, I want all students to be able to access support when they’re struggling, but I’m aware there are sometimes additional barriers that can prevent LGBTQ+ students seeking help. I’ve experienced this first-hand and feel passionately about breaking these down in the work I do.
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.
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- Email the team at email@example.com