To celebrate National Coming Out Day on 11 October, the University’s LGBTI society organised the seminar to discuss what coming out means to people and share their personal experiences in a safe, non-judgemental environment.
Coming Out Day was founded on the principle that coming out is a basic form of activism and that discrimination against sexuality and gender identity (including homophobia, biphobia and transphobia) thrives in an atmosphere of silence, so LGBTI+ people decide to celebrate being out openly.
Nikki Hayden, a Transgender woman representative for the University Students LGBTI Society who contributed to the organisation of the seminar, said: “Coming out day is important to LGBTI people, which is why we decided to hold our annual Coming Out Seminar. The panel and attendees varied in their sexuality and gender identity, as well as their upbringing, culture and religion. This diversity should be celebrated. Whilst it is an individual’s choice if and when they decide to come out, we feel that it is important to be able to share these experiences in a safe space.
“I would also like to thank Dr. Francis White, Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Westminster, for sharing their experience of being a non-binary trans person, and also to Anik Soni, an intersex activist, who accepted our invitation as an external speaker, who shared his experiences of coming out as intersex.”
The University of Westminster constantly endeavours to respect and value diversity within our communities of staff, students and alumni, to promote equality of opportunity, and to challenge and strive to eliminate unlawful discrimination.