As someone who is on the queer spectrum and transgender, coming to university felt like a huge step. Coming out is a tiring thing to do, and the idea of having to come out to flatmates and coursemates was daunting.
My flatmates were supposed to be a mixed group. But I soon found that they were all cisgender men. This was nerve-wracking because I’m pre most of my transition. I’m out within my social network and present myself how I am supposed to be - a man.
But finding out that all my flatmates were men, I wondered if they would all be fine with me being a trans man. I felt incredibly lucky to find that none of them minded and used the right name and pronouns. They sometimes used the wrong pronouns, but were quick to correct themselves.
Though I don’t know about my flatmates for next year, I hope to be as lucky to live with such accepting people. This first year showed that it is possible to live with people who are completely fine with someone who is trans, and don’t feel uncomfortable about it.
With my coursemates, I found that I was being misgendered more - probably because they didn’t know as well, and didn’t know what they were doing. I came out more than I ever had, and it was very tiring. But, in hindsight, it was worth it. My coursemates learned from their mistakes and corrected themselves whenever they used the wrong pronouns. Some people were interested in how I realised I am trans and how I came to terms with it. Although coming out felt terrifying and was something I didn’t want to do, I found most people were just curious and wanted to learn more about it.
I feel incredibly lucky. Everyone I’ve come across at uni has been completely fine with me and my gender and sexuality. More often than not, people just want to learn and try and have a better understanding of what it means. It does initially make me feel anxious, having to come out to new people who come from all over the country, or from different countries and cultures, but I found it to be worth it.
Although I haven’t yet found the LGBTQ+ community where I live and study, I know that there’s a community at the university itself. I hope to become a part of it at some point. But, for now, I’m fine with my small friend group and the knowledge that there is an accepting group out there that would welcome me.