Starting college is an exciting time for many of us. However, it can also be an anxious one for those nervous about meeting people and making friends. For students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this can be even more nerve-wracking, as the uncertainty around finding a supportive community can be overwhelming. There are a number of resources that can help make sure your transition from school to college is as smooth as possible and that you feel supported and validated along the way.
Third level institutions around Ireland have LGBTQ+ societies to support and empower Queer students through community. These are fantastic places to meet other students, and as Freshers weeks begin, many of them will be holding various events to help you settle into college life.
BelongTo are an organisation that aim to ensure LGBTQ+ youth “are equal, safe, and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences.” They host youth groups, cafes, pizza nights and clothing swaps all over the country. The organisation also offer counselling services, sexual health courses and information on drug and alcohol use. Parents of LGBTQ+ young people can access educational workshops on how to support their children and advice on the correct terminology to use.
If you’re nervous about putting yourself out there you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and receive one-on-one guidance.
BelongTo also host a Rainbow Ball every year- the provisional date for this year’s event is the 19th November.
With branches in Dublin and Glasgow, the Small Trans Library is a library of over 200 LGBTQ+ books. There are no library fines, and books can be borrowed for as long as you like. The library runs a book of the week column, interviews with trans writers, and holds writing workshops and social events for trans people.
Aerach Aiteach Gaelach are a group of LGBTQ+ Irish speakers who aim to educate through talks, workshops, media campaigns and research projects. They are composed of artists, film and theatre makers, and academics and activists from Ireland and around the globe. The group will performing at this year’s Dublin Fringe Festival, and you can grab tickets here.
Stay up to date with LGBTQ+ news and events at https://gcn.ie/, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ press, and subscribe to their mailing list here. They host a podcast, run competitions and exhibitions and print monthly magazines.
Read our Alternative Freshers Event Guide here.