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We recently asked some sports club members what it means to them to be LGBT+ and part of sports here. Two students have written short blogs which are below telling us what it means to them and what their experience was like…

At no point have I ever been made to feel uncomfortable about parts of myself…

Louis, a member of Swimming Club…

“Having been part of swimming club during high school whilst I was struggling to come to terms with my sexuality proved problematic and contributed to the reason I stayed in the closet for so long. Lad culture was prominent with discriminatory remarks towards any of the LGBT+ community and the negative connotations associated with being gay were constantly used. I know in many cases, no offence was intended by these comments, but for people in the closet at the time, it consolidated their fear about acceptance and believing they were different and this was wrong in our society. Joining another swimming team once I had started University brought about these fears again and I was hesitant about fully committing as a member.

This week sports teams have been taking part in Pride in Team UCL week by holding inclusive events and fundraising for Stonewall, a leading LGBT equality charity.

However, I’ve been a member of the club for three years and have never experience any homophobic remarks or felt any exclusion because of my sexuality. The mixed gendered nature of the swimming sessions and most changing rooms catering for this, as well as any socials being mixed, went some way to eliminating the lad culture that I felt immersed in at my previous club. At no point have I ever been made to feel uncomfortable about parts of myself and feel able to participate in conversations with any group of swimmers, whether it be a group of guys or in one of the sessions and I am grateful to have had this experience.”

To find out about what Team UCL have been up to this week and see what else is going on, you can find a full list of events here.

Part 2 can be found here..