While a small city, York is a city with a tight, loving community that champions inclusivity. In 2012, York held its first ever LGBTQ+ Pride, and since then, Pride in York has grown bigger and bigger with more people joining ‘the Pride’.
The University of York is no different. It fosters a welcome and safe environment for all of its students regardless of their sexuality or identity. At the University, we have a range of societies, including the LGBTQ+ Social Society, which hosts regular mixers to allow LGBTQ+ students to meet other students. The University of York’s Student Union also has its own LGBTQ+ officer and, on a smaller, more personal level, each college has its own LGBTQ+ committee member to ensure that the needs of students are heard and met.
The University showed support for LGBTQ+ students in unveiling its LGBTQ+-inspired crossing at the heart of Campus West in January. It’s also naming a college after Anne Lister, a prolific, Yorkshire, lesbian businesswoman and diarist from the 19th century.
My inclusivity experience
From joining the University of York as an undergraduate in 2018, I have been humbled by the level of support offered both by the university and by the city for LGBTQ+ students. As a gay woman who does not outwardly portray as straight, I have rarely received any negative comments or reactions. I feel safe walking around York holding my partner’s hand, and feel comfortable in seminars and lectures, and on campus.
For any LGBTQ+ community member considering studying at the University of York, who is perhaps fearful of homophobia: don’t worry. From living here for years as a child, and returning for university, there is no city I feel safer in. York is a welcoming city to students from any background, and the University of York boasts a strong LGBTQ+ network.