Natasha has been in transition for two-and-a-half years and while she found her first year studies were “brilliant” she added: “On a personal level it was not the positive experience I was hoping for it to be for me.
“That wasn’t because of anything bad happening but more because of a lack of understanding and awareness from some staff and students. With how things can be at times for me outside of uni’, towards the end of the academic year I was dreading going out of my front door.
“There has been some wonderful support at the university as well, particularly from Marianne Lemond, Student Development Officer (Student Experience and Equalities) and Lorraine Roberts, Student Support & Guidance Tutor. I have also had wonderful support from the course leader, Marylynn Fyvie-Gauld. We are working together to address the issues I faced.”
Natasha has made a video to give insight and understanding and to raise awareness, a video that may be used in staff training in the future. She has been helped by My Genderation, an on-going documentary project exploring gender variance.
Lorraine Roberts, a member of the University of Brighton Equality and Diversity Committee, said: "We are grateful to Natasha for raising her concerns and we hope to use her video to help with training in the future.
“Natasha approached me and explained that she felt uneasy and we were able to help her find the support she needed to feel welcome and comfortable during her time at university.
“I worked with Natasha on an action plan and supported her from then onwards. Together with Marianne, we are working on a staff training afternoon here in Hastings next month (October).
“Allsorts, an external LGBT training group, will be running the session and Natasha will be showing her video and joining in with the discussions.
“We have an excellent track record of supporting the LGBT community, both through community research and support for our students and staff. We offer a range of support groups, events and peer-to-peer mentoring, but this can always be improved.”
Anyone needing support or information can read more on the university website.