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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

Solent University celebrates and values diversity within its student body and workforce. We endeavour to promote an equal and safe environment for all, allowing everyone to fulfil their potential at Solent. Everyone has the right to study and work in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Here at Solent, we want to make a clear commitment to supporting our students within the LGBTQ+ community.

We use the acronym LGBTQ+ to mean all of the communities included in the 'LGBTTTQQIAA':

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Transsexual 2/Two-Spirit Queer Questioning Intersex Asexual Ally

+ Pansexual      + Agender      + Gender Queer      + Bigender
+ Gender Variant      + Pangender

Why it's important to support our LGBTQ+ students

Solent University staff and students at Southampton Pride 2019Those in the LGBTQ+ community are recognised as a vulnerable group due to the potential isolation, marginalisation, discrimination and harassment they may face.

  • 84% of trans young people have self-harmed. For lesbian, gay, and bi young people who aren’t trans, 61% have self-harmed.
  • 45% of trans young people have attempted to take their own life. For lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans, 22% have attempted to take their own life.
  • Only 40% of LGBTQ+ young people have an adult at home they can talk to about being LGBTQ+ (Stonewall).
  • Young LGBTQ+ people are more likely to face mental health issues than others their age; and 68% of LGBTQ+ young people said their mental health worsened during the Covid pandemic.
  • Just 19% of trans young people reported feeling optimistic about the future on a weekly basis, compared to 36% of their non-transgender peers.
  • The groups most likely to report feeling lonely since the pandemic began: young lesbians (87%) and disabled LGBTQ+ young people (61%) (Just Like Us).

This is the reality for many in the community; Solent wants to ensure that our students can be their authentic selves, feeling safe to do so, and also recognise that some students may want to access support based on their specific needs and experiences.

LGBTQ+ student support

Within the Student Hub there is dedicated support for students within the LGBTQ+ community, providing a safe space for students to be supported and where their gender identity/sexuality can be expressed authentically. Named contacts within the team will be available for general support, advice and guidance. The named contact will be a Wellbeing-based Student Advice Team Leader or Student Adviser; these individuals form a group that have dedicated knowledge in supporting Solent's LGBTQ+ students and will have specific knowledge and understanding of the barriers this community could face.

Please remember that any Solent staff member can provide non-judgemental support in a safe space, however we’ve created this dedicated group of individuals with more specialised knowledge should students feel they want to talk to someone more dedicated knowledge and understanding.

Students in Guildhall SquareMore information can be found via The Student Hub – ask about our LGBTQ+ student support.

Other sources of internal support:

  • Therapy and Mental Health Service
  • SU Head of Student Wellbeing
  • SU Trans+ Students’ Officer
  • SU LGBT+ Students’ Officer
  • LGBT+ Society (currently vacant, looking for students)

Additional support for trans students

Solent University aims to support transgender students in living in their affirmed gender role/identity. By supporting students and staff through transition, the University enables individuals to continue to perform well in their study or work. Help is also available to those looking to explore their gender identity.

Where an individual requests support to transition, the University will respond in a supportive way. This may include providing a named contact for information, advice and guidance. The named contact will work in partnership with the individual to put arrangements in place across the University to ensure smooth transition. The named contact would be welfare based, not replacing a line manager or personal tutor who would continue to provide work or academic support.

More information can be found in the University’s Transgender Equality and Inclusion Policy.

Read the policy

External support

Charities and groups that offer specific support for the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Breakout Youth - an independent charity (no. 1180296) based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They offer a confidential support service for young people aged 11 to 25, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or unsure of their sexuality or gender identity.
  • Beyond Reflections - a Southampton based charity supporting transgender, non-binary and questioning people, their families and close friends in England and Wales.
  • Mermaids - helping gender-diverse kids, young people and their families since 1995.
  • Gendered Intelligence - a registered charity that exists to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve trans people's quality of life.
  • Stonewall - Stonewall stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere. They imagine a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves and can live their lives to the full.
  • Galop - supporting LGBT+ people who are victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, so-called conversion therapies, honour-based abuse, forced marriage, and other forms of abuse.
  • Imaan – social support group with advice and information for LGBTQ+ Muslims.
  • LGBT Foundation - LGBT Foundation exists to support the needs of the diverse range of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans. We believe in a fair and equal society where all LGBT people can achieve their full potential. 
  • OneBodyOneFaith – support for LGBTQ+ Christians.
  • Positive Action - emotional and practical support to individuals and their families affected by HIV since 1995 
  • Switchboard - information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. Founded in 1974, leading source of information on new then HIV/AIDS in the 80s.
  • If you are Questioning or would like to explore the concept of gender and perhaps you’re not sure where to start, have a look here.