Written by: Julia DiPalo
Before coming into university in September I was quite worried about being accepted and not judged at school. I’ve been an open member of the LGBT+ community since grade 10 and have attended a Catholic school my entire life. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Catholic school but they are not the MOST accepting when it comes to me being an open lesbian.
When I came into university I promised myself that I wouldn’t hide who I am, so I stuck to it. Meeting all new people and not knowing how they feel about LGBT+ people. The first day of school I went into the main office to talk to someone about a parking pass and on the table there was a LGBT+ hotline pamphlet. This made me a lot more comfortable and positive that TrentU Durham was the right choice for me. The next battle was telling my new friends, but when I did they were so supportive. Everyone at TrentU Durham has been so awesome and supportive of me and of who I love.
TrentU Durham has an abundance of LGBT+ hotlines to call if you ever feel that you need someone to talk to about what you are going through. There is also a gay-straight alliance group that you can join if you want to meet people interested in making university a safe place for LGBT+ community members. There are also many other types of groups at TrentU Durham that you can join and meet new people who go through the same things as you. For example, there are various religious and ethnic groups that you can join and create a safety net for yourself.
Having people around you who understand and support you is very beneficial to both your mental state as well as your performance in school. Moreover, feeling as though you are safe at school makes the transition to university a lot smoother. I can’t imagine going to school everyday and being worried about whether people are judging me based on who I love. TrentU Durham has made me feel so comfortable and they continue to do so for so many other groups of people as well. Join groups that interest you and that can be a support system for you!