Starting uni as a bisexual girl...

I remember this time last year with startling clarity - I was getting ready to start at Newcastle University, and both terrified and excited at the same time. Starting University is always going to be a stressful event, but I felt a little more apprehensive than most – for the first time in my life, I’d have the freedom to live openly as a bisexual girl, and I was going to take it.

I’d not really ‘come out’ before moving out for university. My closest friends knew, a couple of my siblings were aware of my sexuality but because I come from a strict religious background, I’d kept it under wraps for the most part. I’m an open person – if asked straight out (no pun intended), I’m happy to identify as bisexual, but living away from home meant being free to come and go as I pleased, and with whoever I wanted, and it was definitely something I wasn’t used to.

University presents you with a unique set of opportunities to find other people who you identify with in some way, and make some fast friends who understand what you’re going through – whether that’s people who have the same interests, the same hobbies, or in the case of our LGBT+ Society, the same experiences regarding sexuality.

If I’m honest, I was nervous about signing up to the society – I didn’t want it to be a defining thing about me, not when I had the chance to start anew in Newcastle. But as soon as I went up to the LGBT+ table at the Fresher’s fair, I knew that I wanted to sign up.

Everyone that I’ve met through the LGBT+ society has been absolutely lovely. Sometimes, it’s just nice to be able to swap coming out stories, to sit down and realise that there are other people going through the same confusions and muddling through the same situations as you.

I hadn’t been much involved in the first semester, but I had the chance to take part in a ‘Queerstion Time’ event in the second semester as a panellist. It was an awesome chance to learn more about people from different orientations and identities, and help to create a little more understanding about the LGBT+ community.

And the society feels like that, too – a community. We go out, we get drunk, we go on trips, we get together in coffee shops, and we try and raise awareness and help out some cool charities. I’m definitely looking forward to doing more with the society next year, and I’d encourage any Fresher to do the same, because you really won’t regret it!