Imperial has three main avenues of LGBT+ representation: IQ: Imperial College LGBT+ Society, Imperial 600 (Imperial’s LGBT+ staff network) and the Union Liberation & Community LGBT+ Officer. Having a society, a staff network and an officer can be both a strength and a hindrance; it is always beneficial to have more people advocating for queer issues, but it can be confusing for students seeking support. As such, integration of LGBT+ voices across the college was a significant priority this year.

When I was elected LGBT+ Officer, as well as IQ President and Trans & Gender Variant Officer, it marked the first year of unified representation for Imperial’s LGBT+ students. In my various roles, I have managed to further develop several initiatives. First, for the upcoming elections, I am working with the Union Elections team to include a statement whereby students can self-select to vote for Liberation & Community Officers. This will not disenfranchise any students, nor collect demographic data but, instead, allow the L&C Officers to be more representative of their respective communities. Students will be asked to only vote for L&C roles that represent them. I am also working with the IQ committee to ensure the Union LGBT+ Officer is involved with IQ in a more overt way. In previous years, there has, at times, been a complete disconnect between the two entities. In addition, Imperial 600 has worked with IQ and myself this month for LGBT+ History Month events, thus furthering LGBT+ collaboration and unity on campus. Lastly, as IQ Trans and Gender Variant Officer for the second year in a row, I have been working on getting a fund set up for trans students to assist them with buying transition related items that aren’t covered by the NHS. This is currently in the works and should be announced in another Felix article shortly!

Finally, if you feel excited to show your pride or your support for the LGBT+ community at Imperial, drop by the Union Reception to pick up a rainbow lanyard and ICU trans and pride flag stickers. A limited number of pronoun badges will also be available while supplies last (they/she/he, others upon request). Also remember that you don’t need a PhD for a gender-neutral title – StudentHub will happily change your ID card by removing the title or changing it to Mx if you’d like. If you have any questions about LGBT life at Imperial, drop me a line at jd4914@ic.ac.uk or come to one of the upcoming IQ: Imperial College LGBT+ events!