In Freshers’ Week, our college chaplain told us all something along the lines of “Don’t feel like you have to stay good friends with the very first people you meet. When I was at uni, I didn’t meet my really close friends until second year, and that’s okay.” It was good advice which I promptly forgot about for the next nine months or so, as I was swept away in the blur that is Cambridge life.
I had come out in high school, a couple of years before starting uni, and I was excited to arrive and finally meet lots of people just like me. So I went to a couple of smaller LGBT+ events in Michaelmas, where I met lots of gay men and trans* people, who were all welcoming and lovely. But it just so happened that there weren’t many women at the events I’d picked, and I was too nervous to go clubbing or to bigger events without anyone who I knew, so I didn’t. Long story short, I stopped going to LGBT+ events and threw myself into my friendships in college. All of my female friends were straight, but that wasn’t too bad – they are supportive and I love them all to pieces.
Towards the end of Easter term, my LGBT+ ‘sister’ organised a sunny picnic at Newnham (side note: sign up for an LGBT+ family! Mine was ultra relaxed and supportive and wonderful!). I went, and finally met loads of really cool queer women amongst the wonderful group of LGBT+ people who were there. I’ve been to a few more events since, and thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Now I’m going into second year with a handful of LGBT+ friends, including the queer women that I really needed to find, and I’m planning on attending a lot more events. I didn’t make any fantastic friendships with the first LGBT+ people who I met, but I wish I’d remembered that that was okay.
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