“There’s a lot of LGBTQ+ people and places – everyone is friendly.”
BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance student Lucy moved to Sheffield in 2019 and is in her final year. Lucy is also the 2022-23 Trans Students’ Representative and Treasurer of the TableTop Gaming society.
In 2021, Lucy was awarded the Hallam for All Award from her College for enabling and championing inclusivity and diversity on her course.
“There’s a lot of very open LGBTQ+ people and supportive places in and around Sheffield – it’s a very multicultural city and everyone is friendly.”
“I’m on a finance course, which unlike many social science and arts courses attracts fewer members of the LGBTQ+ community – something I also found prior to coming into uni. Throughout my time at Sheffield Hallam, I’ve tried to be myself, be visible and be a strong and positive influence. I was honest about my experiences and answered numerous questions from my peers — not every trans person would have answered the questions I answered, but I’m honest, I got asked questions and I answered them.
“What led me to apply for Trans Students’ Representative (Trans Rep) is that there wasn’t anyone for me to speak to at the time I was transitioning [prior to university]. Having gone through this, I now have first-hand knowledge and experience to help support others who are considering similar options.
“There’s a wide range of support available for students. I used to have sessions speaking with Student Support Advisers in my second year as I was experiencing quite a lot of stress. My adviser rang every week to see how I was, and if I wanted to speak with them about daily life, about the day-to-day improvements I was making. A bit like therapy but more of a friendly chat.
“Support staff helped me with getting around daily struggles and pointing me in the right direction when needed. They’re there, you just need to ask for the support and they’ll provide it — that’s the key thing.
“As Trans Rep, I not only represent my peers, but I offer advice to students across a variety of issues. My role is being someone you can approach, that’s the big part of my role — it’s filling the shoes that no one else can fill and it’s nothing I haven’t done before.
“There’s a lot of very open LGBTQ+ people in and around Sheffield, and a lot of LGBTQ+ supportive places like cafes and shops – it’s a very multicultural city, everyone gets on, everyone is friendly. I see a lot of inclusive cafes and shops - they’re everywhere. Sheffield is very open, and most venues feel like your local.
“I came to Sheffield because my sister came here around nine years ago. Whenever we dropped her off, it always felt more homely than back home. Hearing what she said about nights out and how people are in the city did influence me. I felt that I needed a place where I could just be myself and out of the university options I chose, it felt the most homely.
“I took it upon myself to contact the University accommodation team before I started as I was worried and wanted to live with people who were welcoming and accepting of me. They sorted me out with a lovely housemate who was also LGBTQ+. I always find it best to be upfront with people like the accommodation team about concerns, they are there, and they will answer.
“I found my community through my society.”
“If you’re looking at coming to Sheffield Hallam, be yourself and make sure that you contact relevant teams and staff members if you feel like you are struggling to cope with something, because they will help. There’s lots of LGBT+ friendly societies you can join – for example, our TableTop Gaming Society is very open and friendly, it’s perfect for people who don’t quite know what to expect and we’re all very approachable. I found my community through my society.
“My advice to new students is to face challenges, both academic and personal. Remember to take things one step at a time – because if you take two steps forward, you might take two steps back and that is the nature of getting to know yourself. That is why it’s important to get involved in accepting communities, to try new things and just be yourself.”
Find out more about our range of support for LGBTQ+ students, in addition to our full support offer. You can find the contact details for our elected student officers and representatives on the Students’ Union website.