‘I was looking at university as being that place to really explore who I am’

Yasmin Morgan, a third year student, shares a brief glimpse into being a part of the LGBTQ+ Society at Goldsmiths… 

So what’s it been like to be part of the LGBTQ+ community at Goldsmiths?

When I was young I wasn’t around a lot of people who were like me. I’m a lesbian and I figured it out pretty early, so I was looking at university as being that place to really be able to explore what was possible, to meet lesbian people and gay people and trans people and non binary people I had never been in contact with. It’s been a great experience to be surrounded by people who were living their own true selves. It’s nice that people don’t have to hide who they were. I love that part about students at Goldsmiths.

 

What kind of things do you get up to?

During Welcome Week last year we held our first event. We decided to keep things really simple and do a picnic on the College green. We brought blankets and flags and face paint, and got money from the SU to get pizza. We were terrified that it would literally only be the committee - about ten people. But no. A lot of people came - thirty, maybe fifty.

 

How did you make sure that the newly formed society was inclusive?

The problem with university is that you can feel excluded from certain things if you don’t feel like you fit in. 

My goal was to get a big committee together because I knew that the LGBTQ+ community deserves equal representation. I wanted to be representative because I know that’s something a lot of the community fear, that it’s just full of a lot of white gay guys. It was great, we ended up having three trans Reps, a couple of non-binary Reps. We also got a BAME Rep later in the year.

I didn’t want people to think they had to be a certain type of LGBTQ+ person to be involved, or to come to our events… because you don’t! 

 

And what’s your favourite achievement of the society that you’ve been involved with?

Our LGBTQ+ speed dating events! Although it wasn’t just dating, we also emphasised friendship. We thought it would be really strange, really difficult and possibly controversial to divide people. We’re not going to ask someone, ‘are you okay with dating a woman or a man or a non-binary person?’ We thought that was so unnecessary! We were like, ‘you’ll get around to as many people as possible and if you’re lucky you’re lucky!’ 

 

And how did those events go? 

The first time we did speed dating we were still getting used to putting on events. We had a bit of a panic just before because we’d only sold five tickets. We were putting flyers everywhere, going up to people and saying ‘Are you gay? Doesn’t matter - take that!’

The second time was the opposite, we had too many people! We ended up starting an hour late, there were so many people who wanted to be involved we had to rearrange tables. I have a friend who’s an ambassador for Jaegermeister, so we gave each person that came two little shot bottles of Jaeger to loosen the mood a bit! We got candles and dressed them up in wine bottles and stuff like that. And afterwards we kept seeing people on Facebook who had met at speed dating and then got together. It was brilliant.