Supporting our LGBTQ+ students

We want everyone to feel welcome and included at Essex. We support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender plus community members, including those who may define themselves as queer, intersex, asexual, demisexual, non-binary, gender fluid, pansexual, polyamorous, questioning and others. 

Diversity and equality of opportunity are valued at the University, so we work to make sure our students and staff are treated with dignity and respect, and solely on their merits, abilities and potential. We have a programme of action to make sure this happens.

LGBTQ+ University support services

Students' Union LGBTQ+ Society

The University of Essex LGBTQ+ Society is one of the biggest and best in the UK. Winners of the 2008 NUS LGBT Award for Most Inclusive LGBT Union, and winners in 2010 Best Society Award.

The LGBTQ+ Society have well over one hundred members, associates, contributors and friends from a wide range of religious, racial and social backgrounds.

The society also have LGBTQ+ Officers and Trans Officers across our campuses. Their role is to represent LGBQ+ and Trans students to the University and Students Union, campaign on the issues students care about to bring about positive change on campus, and plan events to bring people in the community together through education, discussion, friendship and fun. They work to ensure all LGBQ+ students are supported to have the best possible university experience!

Mental and emotional health support

Whatever your concerns are, no matter how long you've had them or whether or not you know the cause, we can provide you with support. We understand you may feel anxious, but whatever is discussed, it will be treated with respect.

Our Student Services Hub provides a range of support services for anyone who may be struggling with their mental and emotional health, this includes a confidential counselling service if you would like to explore your thoughts and feelings in a safe environment.

Discrimination and harassment

It is illegal for people to discriminate against you on the grounds of your protected characteristics, which includes gender reassignment, sex and sexual orientation. 

At the University we have a zero tolerance approach to sexual violence, harassment and hate crime. Use our Report and Support website to report an incident anonymously or to be be put in touch with our wellbeing team. Ask us to take action and we will. You should also contact the Police if you have witnessed or have been a victim of a hate crime.

You can find our more about the University's equality and diversity policies that have been put in place to protect you.

External LGBTQ+ support services

  • The Outhouse - a Colchester-based charity offering support and information to the LGBTQ+ community of Essex. It provides counselling and as well as a range support services and groups.
  • Imaan - supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual Muslims.
  • Gay Christians - supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians.
  • The Gender Trust - supporting those affected by gender identity issues.
  • Survivor Project - addressing the needs of intersex and trans survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Stonewall - campaigning to address the needs of LGBTQ+ people in the wider community.
  • Trans Unite - a comprehensive resource for people searching for support in the transgender community.
  • Colchester Pride - a local community organisation that provides community resources.
  • Gendered Intelligence - provides an LGBT+ counselling directory and support for trans people.
  • Mindline Trans+ - trans mental health support line.
  • Galop - LGBT+ abuse support.
  • LGBT Foundation - LGBT+ support and wellbeing charity.

Our It Gets Better video

The University wants to raise awareness of some of the issues faced by LGBT+ people. Our video for the 'It Gets Better' initiative aims to empower and inspire the changes needed to make it better for LGBT+ people. Six members of our University tell us their story.

The Reindorf Review

We have published the results of the Reindorf Review that was commissioned to investigate the cancellation of two events. Take a look at the Vice-Chancellor's blog as he considers some of the difficult issues raised and as well as our commitment to our trans and non-binary students and staff.

We know that some of our trans and non-binary community and their allies have been affected by the issues raised in the review. Academic Registrar outlines the support available to our students.

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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.