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Coping With The Winter Holiday as an LGBTQ+ Student

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We know that not everyone is fortunate enough to return home to an accepting and positive environment during the winter holidays. This time, can be especially difficult for LGBTQIA+ students who may be returning to a space where they may face stigma, rejection, being called incorrect names or pronouns, having to hide their identity and feeling totally alone and unwelcome.

It's important to know that you are not alone,there are people who care, and support is available. Welfare & Inclusion Rep, Max Shenton, gives their advice below:

Going home when you don’t know what reaction you’ll face is hard, especially if you’ve been away from your family, in an accepting space for months. The best advice I can give is:

  • Make sure you have a strong support network. Stay in touch with your flatmates or friends from uni while you’re away, make sure you have people you know will be able to cheer you up if you’re struggling.
  • Speak to people online. Having an online friendship group is incredible when you just need someone to use the right name and pronouns for you, or to talk to about any offhand comments or jokes that are getting to you.
  • Distractions are welcome. If you find conversations or activities are becoming uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation or distract yourself. You could go for a walk, or take part in the many activities CUSU are running for their #WinterWithCUSU campaign. 
  • Most importantly, set a clear boundary. Make sure you have time for yourself where you can just be alone and practice some self-care, even if it’s as small as having somewhere you can go for five minutes to breathe. 

Support and Resources

The CUSU LGBTQ+ Student Community is free to join and organises events and campaigns thoughout the year for you to be involved in. You can also join the LGBTQIA+ Society

LGBT Foundation Check out their LGBT Christmas Survival Guide. You can also call their helpline on 0345 3 30 30 30 or email helpline@lgbt.foundation
Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline

Call 0300 330 0630 Open 10:00-22:00 every day. Or email chris@switchboard.lgbt

Samaritans Samaritans are there to talk about things, big or small. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org for someone to talk to, who won’t judge or tell you what to do.
Shout 85258 Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, anonymous mental health text support service that you can access 24/7. To start a conversation, text the word 'SHOUT' to 85258.
Trans Unite Trans Unite allows members of the transgender & non binary communities to find a support group local to them (or even online)
MIND Check out their Christmas Mental Health Guide
University Counselling & Mental Health Service You may wish to speak with the Counselling and Mental Health team at the university to seek support. You can call them on 024 7765 8029 or email: counsell.ss@coventry.ac.uk

 

 

 

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