Learning Environment Assistant
Tell us your coming out story
I didn’t really have to come out, my mum just asked me if my ‘friend’ was more than just a friend and I said yes. She then proceeded to tell all our family and friends which saved me the trouble of coming out but also took away my agency. My dad took a little longer to come to terms with it as he is a Christian but overall, my family are very supportive and accepting.
Did you have any LGBT+ role models growing up? Who were they and why?
I looked up to people my age who were out and living proud and happy lives. There wasn’t an abundance of out celebrities when I was growing up, so I looked more to the real people in my life who were living their truth, for inspiration and support.
Have you suffered prejudice in your job or personal life and, if so, can you describe what effects it had on you?
Fortunately, I have never suffered prejudice at work because of my identity. I have encountered some instances of verbal abuse but have been able to brush them off.
What would you say to those who may be facing difficulties regarding their LGBT+ status at work?
Join the staff LGBT+ network. Also advise them of the university’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity.
What can we all do to make University of Kent a better place for being an LGBT+ member of staff?
Understand that everyone is different, and we all deserve to be happy and supported at work. Ally workshops are an excellent tool to teach staff how to be a good ally.
What do you think of being LGBT+ in Kent?
There is a strong LGBT+ community in Kent, with several local pride celebrations and support services. Kent has improved hugely since I was a teenager and I believe it is now not only tolerant but supportive to LGBT+ people.
Why do you want to be an LGBT+ role model? Why is it important?
I don’t want anyone to feel that they don’t have anyone to talk to about any difficulties they may be having. Having a good support network is essential for anyone’s happiness and feeling secure and confident enough to be yourself.
Nadia is happy to be contacted by email: email@example.com