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Meet the inspiring LGBTQ students finding themselves and each other at university

As 2023 draws near, we reflect on one of our proudest moments of 2022 — awarding scholarships to the tune of £1,000 to six LGBTQ+ students at the University of Hull.

By Jamie Tabberer

LGBTQ+ scholarships for six University of Hull students
LGBTQ+ scholarships for six University of Hull students (Image: Pexels)

Living with pride in one’s difference and individuality, on one’s own terms, can be a lifelong journey. With this in mind, it’s inspiring to connect with Cecilia, Alexander, Noah and Victor*, four fresh-faced recipients of the 2022 scholarship scheme between AMF and undergraduates at the University of Hull.

Cecilia (she/her), who identifies as “asexual-something-romantic, I’m not quite sure!”, says the grant is “a great comfort. If things go wrong — if something breaks and I need something new — I have money. I can also use it to buy the equipment I need.”

Cecilia, who grew up in a small village and is only out to certain members of her family, also appreciates the scope for finding a likeminded community that university provides. Queer friends she’d made prior were “mostly online. It’s nice to say: ‘You’re physically in front of me, and we’re able to chat!’”

“I’ve been shown solidarity as a disabled member of the LGBTQ community”

Meanwhile, Victor (he/him) says the grant has provided “more than financial support for my studies, which is in itself vital in supporting my family back home as well as myself in the current times, but also solidifying my confidence. In being recognised by the AMF, I’ve been shown solidarity as a disabled member of the LGBTQ community; my voice uplifted and heard during the process.”

Finally, Noah (he/him), who identifies as a bisexual trans man, adds: “This money has meant a lot to me. I was worried about coming to university without the financial support of both parents, but this award has allowed me to have a safety net. It’s released part of my anxiety about having enough money to afford food and generally makes me enjoy the experience of university a lot more. I’ve used part of the money to buy a digital art tablet. As a film student, this has helped greatly in the pursuit of my degree.”

For his part, Jonathan Greenwood, Trusts and Foundations Manager at the University of Hull, enthuses: “As a gay member of staff and graduate of the University of Hull, I am incredibly proud to have worked with the AMF to develop the first LGBTQ+ undergraduate scholarship here at the University of Hull. I hope this pioneering initiative will support many students to have the confidence to live life as their true selves.”

Adds Victor: “This scholarship has played a huge role in placing a marker at my feet at the University of Hull as if to say: ‘This is it. This is where you belong.’”

*Some identifying names and details have been changed