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Taking LGBT Equality Further and Higher
A toolkit for college and universities LGBT societies
This toolkit was designed to cover all aspects of setting
up, developing and maintaining a university or college
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) society.
It aims to cover everything from the initial steps for getting
a society off the ground to developing well established
societies further.
The toolkit is for students who want to start an LGBT society,
who have recently joined an LGBT society and want to learn
more, and for more experienced members who are looking to
develop their society further.
The resource was written by a group of university and
college students from all over Scotland with the support of
LGBT Youth Scotland and National Union of Students Scotland
(NUS Scotland). All members participated by contributing their
own experiences and opinions in order to create a practical
and useful guide to assist you in developing your LGBT society
regardless of what stage it is at.
The cards in this toolkit contain information on a whole host of
topics. They begin with the basics, such as recruiting members,
finding a venue and holding your first society meeting, and then
move on to topics such as running campaigns, fundraising and
working in partnership. The resource has been designed as a
selection of information cards. This means each society can
select the cards which are most relevant or useful to them
and tailor the resource to suit their society’s needs.
We hope you find this toolkit useful and that you will benefit
from the advice and information it contains. It won’t provide all
the answers to every issue your society faces, but aims to give
an introduction to all the main topics involved in running an LGBT
society, give you some ideas to discuss, and to point you in the
direction of further resources and information.
Good luck with all your work and thanks for reading!
LGBT Youth Scotland & NUS Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland is a national youth organisation working
towards the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
young people in the life of Scotland. We provide a range of
services and opportunities for young people, families and
LGBT Youth Scotland runs youth groups, provides online
information and advice, provides one to one support, delivers
training, carries out schools work, and offers volunteering and
participation opportunities for adults and young people.
To find out more, contact us:
Email: [email protected]
Text: 07781 481 788
Green Light
LGBT Youth Scotland’s Green Light Project is a national programme
to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people
to ‘come out’. Funded by the Big Lottery, the programme involves
working with young people from across Scotland on a range
of projects that challenge stigma, provide information, and offer
advice around coming out.
By drawing on personal experiences, the project’s participants
are developing a range of resources to increase people’s
understanding of the many issues faced by LGBT young people,
including peer education workshops, coming out guides, and this
resource, a national university and college LGBT society toolkit.
For more information visit:
NUS Scotland
NUS Scotland exists to promote, defend and extend your rights
as a student and to support Students’ Associations the length
and breadth of Scotland to be as strong and as active as they
can be. We’re the recognised voice for lobbying the Scottish
Parliament on behalf of students and for representing students
to many other government and independent bodies.
As well as working on student funding and rights, we also
have a dedicated team of Liberation Officers, campaigning both
with NUS and separately for Women, LGBT, Black and Disabled
Students. We rely on the input of students so to get involved
contact your local student’s association and let us know!
Stiofán McFadden, NUS Scotland LGBT Campaign
Email: [email protected]
Getting started
Setting Up an LGBT Society
Roles within the Society/LGBT Officers
Recruiting Members
Finding a Venue
Running a Meeting
Setting up
If your university of college doesn’t already have an
LGBT society, the following information could help you
think about the steps you need to take in order to make
this happen. LGBT societies can vary from one place to
another and there are no set rules about how you
should run your society.
Some societies will mainly be about meeting other LGBT
students and socialising, while others will be more focused
around campaigning and activism. What matters is that your
society meets the needs of all its members and is accessible
to all other LGBT students.
What are the benefits of having an LGBT society?
To create a sense of community for LGBT students:
Most people get involved with groups and clubs as it provides
a sense of belonging and allows them to meet other people with
similar interests, experiences and attitudes. For LGBT people, local
LGBT communities can have an important role in providing safe
space to do this. We think it is important that LGBT students also
have this opportunity, and an LGBT society is the ideal first step.
To provide peer support:
LGBT societies can be a lifeline for some LGBT students who
are looking for support and guidance, or to feel like they’re not
the only one dealing with issues around sexuality or gender.
The opportunity to meet and talk to other people who are
having or had similar experiences can give people the support
and confidence they’ve maybe not had before. Many students
will be away from home for the first time, or might have just
recently come out, so a supportive group can make these
experiences easier.
To raise awareness and tackle homo, lesbo, bi and transphobia:
Many LGBT students report that homophobia and harassment
is still a problem for them at university or college. Often this can
be very indirect and can range from issues such as a lack of
resources for LGBT students to inadequate support provided to
students who are transitioning. Other issues can include lack
of acceptance from the general student population and lack
of awareness about the rights and needs of LGBT students.
An LGBT society can be instrumental in running campaigns to
raise awareness and challenging universities and colleges.
First steps to creating an LGBT society
If your university or college has an LGBT Officer (See Roles
within the Society card), they can support the development of a
society, so get in touch and share your ideas (most LGBT Officers
can be contacted through the Student’s Union, so try there first!).
Societies need to have official documents such as a constitution
and memorandum, so contact the university or student’s union
office who should be able to provide a template and guidelines.
It is also important to know what the need is for an LGBT society
at your university or college, so doing some research around
campus can be a good way to find out. You might want to do a
general attitudes survey (think about using online tools as well
as paper based forms), you might want to go out and about on
the local gay scene to see if there is interest. If there is already an
identified group of LGBT students, you can ask them about the
type of activities and campaigns that would be important to them.
Each LGBT society will have different ideas about
how your organisation will operate and how to go
about it. If you do not have a set of rules you might
be surprised to find you are all pulling in different
directions and trying to achieve different things.
Do we need a Constitution?
Getting a constitution gets everyone clear about what you
intend to do. Lots of constitutions have been written before and
to get one off the shelf rather than invent it all yourself works for
most groups. It ensures that important bits are not left out and
it is an opportunity for everything you need to think about to
get discussed. Your constitution should also cover these
basic aspects:
– Your objectives – why you need to exist
– Your aims – what you want the society to achieve
– How you will be run – the committee, administration
and meetings
– Who your members will be and how they will be involved
– How you will spend your money
Do we need a Committee?
A constitution usually defines the governing body of a society
as a Committee. You will at least need someone to Chair the
meetings, someone to write down what happens at meetings
(a Secretary) and someone who looks after the money,
a Treasurer. You can add other Committee Members with
or without specific roles and duties. These posts are elected
at a general meeting.
What is a General Meeting?
All those involved in the running of a society are usually members.
Since it is run for them it is they who usually ultimately say how
it is all organised. At the first General Meeting you should adopt
(agree) your constitution and elect the Committee Members
and Officers. You will normally have at least one General Meeting
(Annual General Meeting) a year to complete business, authorise
what the committee does and elect members and officers for the
Committee for the forthcoming year.
Do we need a Bank Account?
You will need to have a way of handling your society’s money.
For this reason it is useful to open a bank account. The account
should be opened in the name of the group and should have
2 signatories for all cheques. It is often a good idea for groups to
have 3 or 4 signatories on an account of whom any 2 can sign
cheques to cover when committee members are on holiday or
unable to sign cheques for the group.
For an LGBT society to be successful, it is important
to consider roles within the society. If you are just
setting up a society for the first time, it might just be
one or two of you that take on all the roles until the
society is more established.
If your society is already set up, you might want to consider
roles such as Chair, Vice Chair & Secretary. You’ll find a short job
description for each of these roles on the back of this card. Of
course, all societies are different, if you need more advice and
support setting up a society speak to your Student Union or
get in touch with LGBT Youth Scotland.
Things to consider
The skills of the people within your society – who would be
good at what.
Time commitments- committee member roles can be demanding
on time and need reliable people to make them work.
Energy and enthusiasm- leading a society can take a lot of effort,
especially during the early stages, so you need to think about
how you will motivate others and keep the momentum going.
All positions come with responsibilities, regardless of how small
your society may be. If you are the Chair or hold any other
position within your society you should think about the following:
Not all students want to be “out” – a person’s sexuality is private
You are representing your college/university/student union.
You are the voice of all LGBT students, therefore, you need to
ensure that you are gathering the opinions of others as well as
your own personal opinions.
You need to be inclusive of L, G, B and T students and have an
understanding of the different issues around sexual orientation
and gender identity.
In this role it is important that you have an understanding of
relevant university/college policies to best support students
and work with the institution to ensure everyone is included.
First Steps
– Read over the job descriptions on the back of this card.
– Decide what stage your society is at and what roles you
need at the moment
– Try and spread out the tasks if possible- if you are relying
on just one person to do the majority of the work, there is
the danger of them ‘burning out’ or the society falling away
when they leave.
LGBT Officers
Many Students’ Unions have an LGBT Officer, who is responsible
for overseeing the welfare of LGBT individuals during their time as
a student. LGBT Officers also work with the university and college
staff to consider wider issues of inclusion for LGBT students.
LGBT Officers’ main roles are:
– To represent LGBT students to the students union/college/
university etc.
– To provide advice to students, members, and university/college.
– Demonstrate commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
within the university.
Committee roles
The Chair is the lead role within a society. The must support
and develop the group and be the lead spokesperson. Although
final decisions may rest with them, a good Chair will involve all
members in decision-making and ensure everyone has an
active role.
The Secretary is the person who is responsible for internal
communication and administration and is a crucial role within
a society. Sometimes this can be a more time-consuming role
than that of the Chair.
Duties include:
– Planning the agenda of committee meetings.
– Leading Committee meetings and other society meetings.
– Ensuring the committee works effectively together.
– Ensuring all participants have the opportunity to contribute
and participate.
– Signing cheques and making budgetary decisions.
– Ensuring the society works towards the aims agreed by
the members and follows the conditions set out in their
– Ensuring voting procedures are followed.
– Dealing with any disputes within the society.
– Representing the organisation at external events.
– Liaising with the press on behalf of the organisation.
– Planning the dates and times of all meetings and events
with the rest of the committee.
Vice Chair
The Vice Chair’s role is to assist the Chair and to take on the role
of the Chair at any meetings/events in the Chair’s absence. If you
have a larger society, it is a good idea to divide the roles of the
Chair between the two positions, so that the workload is spread
out and more manageable.
Duties include:
– Making arrangements for meetings, such as organising
refreshments, booking rooms, ensuring appropriate facilities
for participants with disabilities or other special needs.
– Sending out correspondence to all members about upcoming
meetings and events.
– Taking and producing minutes of all meetings, and ensuring
that procedures are followed.
– Dealing with membership (new members/leaving members).
– Dealing with correspondence and publicity.
The Treasurer is responsible for managing the society’s
finances and keeping records.
Duties include:
– Book-keeping and record keeping.
– Developing and maintaining recording systems around
petty cash, receipts and expenses.
– A signatory for bank accounts.
– Financial planning and budgeting.
– Regularly informing the committee of the financial position
of the group.
– Developing financial policies, such as claiming expenses.
– Producing annual statements of accounts.
– Ensuring accounts are properly audited according to
regulations and the constitution.
– Managing and generating income (fundraising, grant
applications, sales).
– Setting up insurance for the society if necessary.
An LGBT society needs members to get involved and be active
in order to operate efficiently. Recruiting and retaining members
can sometimes be difficult, so this card sets out some methods
for attracting new students and keeping current members
interested and involved.
Why do we need members?
To run activities and campaigns:
Members can help the committee run more activities and
campaigns by leading workshops, volunteering to organise
events and networking to gain support for campaigns.
To support other LGBT students:
Societies are a great place for other students to get support and
advice and access information about what is going on at their
university or college. Members can act as buddies or befrienders
to new students and can act as information points to signpost
LGBT students on to other services.
How to get people involved
Set up a website - do some research and see if other societies
within your university or college have web pages or websites
linked to the university pages. You can speak to the students
union to find out if there is funding or resources available to
help you get this started.
In the early days, producing basic printed leaflets, flyers and
posters can be an effective way of letting people know your
society exists. Make sure you keep the promotional material
simple and easy to understand. Post the promotional material
around the university or college and don’t forget local cafes,
bars and the gay scene (if there is one nearby).
Some colleges and universities have LCD screens in their
reception areas. This could be a great way to have your society
advertised to the general student population. Why not speak to
the university or college student union or reception to see if you
can create a short slide show to be displayed on them.
Remember to ensure your promotional material is accessible to
all LGBT students. Often people who are bisexual or transgender
may feel overlooked by LGBT groups. Targeted or inclusive
recruitment will increase the diversity of your society and make
it more appealing for all LGBT students to get involved.
Find out what the students are interested in and shape your
promotional events/material to meet their interests. If students
are looking for more social activities, why not host a small quiz
night at the student bar; if they are more attracted by political
movements, why not host a small meeting to establish campaign
ideas and priorities
What stops
people coming back?
Student life can be hectic and stressful; exams and pressures
to achieve can mean that sometimes students will have little
time to socialise and be active. Try to take this into account
when planning your activities and promotion and make sure
that you don’t overload your members with tasks during busy
exam periods.
It’s not much fun being part of a society if you don’t feel included.
Make sure that your society is inclusive of all members and
remember that it is not just the committee who should make
decisions - all members should have a fair say in the work that
is being done.
Being LGB or T still has stigma attached to it and some students
may find they are isolated from their friends and peers if it is
known that they attend the LGBT society. It is a good idea to
ensure that your activities are accessible to students who are
not ‘out’ to friends and peers, that allow them to still gain support
but perhaps not be as visible as others.
If you want your members to stay involved, it is important that the
society stick to its aims and delivers what it set out to. A lack of
progress or clear direction can be very off-putting for members.
Repetition and lack of variety will cause some members to loose
interest and disengage with the society. Keep your events and
activities varied, and spend time reflecting on past meetings and
events and think about what made them a success or failure.
One of the first practical things that a society needs is a safe
space to operate meetings and activities. You can talk to the
college or universities Student’s Union for support and advice
about accessing venues on campus. You may want to meet off
campus if it suits your needs better, or if there is widespread
homophobia or fear of being ‘outed’ on campus.
Why do we need a safe space?
It is important to have a regular meeting space which is safe
and allows for all members to feel comfortable. By ensuring that
members feel protected and happy you will ensure that you get
the best out of each individual and they will be able to participate
to their fullest. Also, by having a regular meeting place and time,
members are more likely to remember to attend.
Things to think about
Find a venue and make sure that it is LGBT friendly (you might
want to speak to the venue staff and let them know what meeting
will be taking place). You could try putting up some poster from
local LGBT groups and organisations to let your society members
know that it is an LGBT friendly space.
Check the rules and regulations for the venue and make sure you
can meet there at the times that are suitable to you (remember
you might not only want to use this space for meetings, it might
also be used for peer support meetings during the day).
You might have membership from students who are not yet
18, therefore you should consider this when booking a venue
(meeting in a licensed premises may exclude people).
Establish a regular meeting time, and make sure it is a convenient
time for the majority of the society.
Check and make sure that your society venue is accessible to
students with disabilities. If there are no other options except
a venue that is not accessible, do you have a plan for how to
include disabled members?
Make sure you are realistic about the room you need; if you have
a smaller group, then try to find a smaller space. A big, empty
room can feel uninviting, especially to new members. Remember,
you can always move to a bigger location when you need to.
If you have permission, why not get some useful info up on the
walls in your meeting space. Posters for local events, LGBT groups
and international movements might inspire your members to come
up with new ideas or events.
Who can help?
First stop would be to speak to the Student Union and see what
space they have available, you may be able to share a space
with another society or use union space when it is free. In most
colleges and universities you can access these rooms free
through the union, find out how to book a room by checking
the university or college website or speaking to the Student’s
Union office.
As well as recruiting members and raising the profile of
your society, advertising and promotion can be useful for
fundraising, working with other agencies, and ensuring your
society is seen as an active part of your university or college.
Creating an identity for your society (name and logo) can be
useful first step to make your society stand out as well as
creating a greater sense of belonging for members.
Next it is important to think about the range of methods that
can be used for promotion and advertising. Having leaflets and
posters designed and printed can be expensive, so consider
cheaper or free options first.
Information Screens
Many colleges, universities and student unions have electronic
screens around campus providing information to students. Again,
contact your registry or student union to find out the policies
around advertising on these. A simple PowerPoint presentation
of a few slides is a great way to promote your society and let
other students know about upcoming events. It is also relatively
easy to update, so the information remains current.
Advertising Methods
Some universities and colleges will be willing to send out emails
on your behalf to all current students. Contact the registry or
student union to see if this is an option. This is a quick and easy
way to let everyone know about your society and how to get
in touch. Before doing this, you might want to set up a separate
email address for the society. It’s best not to use a personal email,
just in case you get any negative responses. This can also cause
problems when the student is no longer involved in the society.
Student Newspaper/Radio/TV
Advertising in papers and on the radio can cost money, but
why not write an article about your society or volunteer to be
interviewed. This will give you the opportunity to let other students
know more about the society. If it goes down well, you could
agree to have a regular input to keep everyone up to date with
new developments.
Posters and flyers are still a really effective way of advertising
your society. Posters are also a good way of raising LGBT visibility
around campus. If your budget is tight, consider asking design
students to help, create a joint flyer with another society, or
approach an LGBT bar/club to sponsor you.
Having your own website is a great way to provide more in-depth
information about your society and promote upcoming events.
Again, websites can be pricey, but if there are students studying
web design, they might be willing to create something simple
for a reduced cost or free. Other easier alternatives are social
networking sites. Group pages mean that you can still have an
online presence without any cost. Whether it is your own website
or a social networking site, the most important thing is that they
are kept up to date. Think about who is responsible for managing
the content, how many people can edit it, and that email
addresses and contacts are kept current. Ask the Student’s Union
to put a link to your website onto their general website to help you
to publicise your activities.
Things to Consider
When deciding on a name, try and think of something both
original and memorable. Once you’ve decided, try searching
for the name online to see if it’s been used by others.
If you are having a logo designed, think about how much you
are willing to spend or it might be worth considering if there are
any design students who would do something for free
Try and advertise in both public and more private places. Public
advertising sends a message to students that there is a strong
LGBT presence at your university or college, and more private
advertising (such as the back of toilet cubicle doors) lets LGBT
students who may not be out the chance to write down websites
or phone numbers without the worry of others seeing them.
Up and running
Fresher’s Week
Running a Society Meeting
Running a Social Event
Introducing the LGBT Scene
Befriending and Peer Support
Fresher’s Week
One of the best places to meet potential members and
generally raise the awareness about your society to the
student population is by getting involved with the fresher’s
fair. Fresher’s fairs are held at the beginning of each university
or college year and are a chance for new students to find out
about the range of opportunities available to them, including
student societies.
Why should we bother?
Any society will stay fresh if you have an influx of new members
each year; these members bring new ideas, networks and
possible contacts, and can turn your society into a larger,
stronger group.
What’s involved?
For most societies, fresher’s weeks are primarily a ‘market place’
affair, where societies and other related university or college
groups host stalls for new students to ask questions, find
out about events and pick up information. Other colleges and
universities societies will also run social events to mark fresher’s
week. If you would like to host a fresher’s event, have a look at
the Running a Social Event card.
How to set up a fresher’s stall
Get in touch with the Student’s Union; they will be the most likely
lead for any fresher’s fair event. Let them know that you would like
to host a stall and are looking for information about the day and
time it will be taking place.
Enlist the support of your members to run the stall during the fair.
Often these events can be long and may last all day. Tired and
bored members will not make your society seem appealing to
new students, so make sure you have enough volunteers who
can work on a rota basis.
As this event will be about reaching out to new students and
promoting the work of the society, you want members who are
working on the stall to be friendly, enthusiastic, approachable,
knowledgeable and, most of all, positive about the society.
Run a briefing session for the members who will be working on
the stall. They should be confident to answer questions about the
general activities of the society, talk about some successful past
events and campaigns and introduce some events or activities
that are planned. The volunteers should also be ready to speak
to new LGBT students who are away from home for the first time,
perhaps not ‘out’ to anyone and may need support. It is important
that the members are able to point these students to the right
avenues for support, or offer to bring them along to the next
meeting - the stall is not the place for a one-on-one peer support
session to take place!
Make sure volunteers are able to deal with any homophobic
comments they may get from students when running the stall and
know how to report this to the university or college afterwards.
It might be an idea to speak to whoever is co-ordinating the fair
beforehand to ensure they are willing to support you.
Make sure you have all your promotional material ready to go
on the stall - even if this is simple printed factsheets about the
society with meeting times and venues listed.
continued over
Fresher’s Week continued
Print out a mailing list sign up sheet - volunteers can ask people
to add their names, phone numbers and email addresses so
you can keep them up to date with your activities and meetings.
If people don’t want to be seen signing up in public, have flyers
with contact details, so they can sign up at a later date.
Make it fun and attractive; ensure your stall will stand out from
the rest, get a rainbow flag to cover the table with, play some
tunes and if possible have free give-aways like pens, badges.
Fresher’s fairs are also a great opportunity to do some
consultation with new students? Why not have a suggestions
box for new activities, conduct social attitudes survey or get
feedback on new campaign material.
When it’s all over...
Remember to thank the members who worked really hard to make
the event happen, and ensure you capitalise on all that hard work
by getting new contacts added to the mailing list and research or
consultation data compiled (and remember once you have the
data it’s worth analysing and using to help shape your next event
or campaign!)
Running a
Society Meeting
If it is your first meeting, you might want to think about spending
some time deciding the aims and goals of your society, agreeing on
your society’s structure, writing your constitution or establishing
the best ways of communicating or keeping in touch with each
other between meetings.
Although there are a lot of important decisions to be made, try
and achieve a balance of society ‘business’ and fun. If you spend
the whole of your first meeting deciding on policy details, you
might lose the attention of some members. A good way around
this is to find out who is interested in a more ‘committee’ role and
hold a separate meeting to go over the finer details.
One of the most important items to discuss is how often the
group are going to meet and where. (See Finding a Venue card
for more info). Also, spend some time getting to know one
another – there are some example icebreakers on the back
of the Organising a Social Event card.
Things to Consider
– Have an agenda- a well organised first meeting will let others
know that they are joining an organised group and that they
are not wasting their time
– Take minutes to keep a record of what has been decided and
to remind members what was discussed
– Agree on a preferred communication method (email, social
networking sites, text message) to circulate minutes/keep
everyone up to date with meeting times, etc.
First Steps
– Arrange room / venue
– Advertise
– Have a key contact/email address for enquiries and ensure
someone is checking this regularly on the lead up to the
first meeting.
– Plan the meeting agenda and decide on who is going to
lead each part
– Organise any equipment or resources needed for the meeting
First Meeting Agenda
10 mins
Chair introduces themselves and any other committee members. Then welcomes everyone
to the meeting and thanks them for coming along. Finishes by running through the agenda
for the evening.
10 mins
Run a ten minute icebreaker, to get all participants talking to one another.
15 mins
Ask everyone to find a partner and spend 5 minutes discussing their expectations for
the society. Then ask them to write each on a post it note and stick to the flipchart. The
facilitator should then read through each of these and have a short discussion with the
group about each.
Alternatively you could have two separate flipcharts with the headings:
What I would like to get out of the society personally
What I would like the society to achieve as a group
Aims of the Society
20 mins
Following on from the last exercise, place three sheets of flipchart on the wall with the
Short Term (3 months)
Medium Term (6 months)
Long Term (Year)
Divide participants into three groups and place each one at one of the three sheets of
flipchart. Tell them they will have 5 minutes in their group to write down as many aims as
possible. Then swap the groups around and repeat until each group has contributed to all
three flipcharts.
Next Steps
20 mins
Take the short term flipchart from the last exercise and read out each of the aims. As a
whole group, ask participants to shout out what would need to happen to achieve each of
the short term aims. Get someone to write down the next steps for each aim. If possible,
ask members to take a lead with each aim.
15 mins
Thinking about the aims and the next steps, ask participants to think about what the
society already has (i.e. venue, access to printing) and what they still need to achieve their
aims (i.e. funding, more members). Spend some time thinking how the society can use what
it already has and how it will get what it still needs.
Meeting practicalities
Decide as a group date/time/venue of next meeting
Flipchart, post
its & pens
Running a
Social Event
Once your society is up and running, you might want to plan a
social event. As well as being a lot of fun, social events can raise
awareness of your society, help recruit new members, and build
relations with local cafes, bars and other venues.
Such events, however, need more planning and often have a cost
attached to them. A society which runs a wide variety of events is
more likely to attract a wider and more diverse group of members,
which in turn will add to the group.
Things to consider
General Events
– Quiz Night – arrange to go to a quiz night at a local venue,
or ask if you can hold your own.
– Film Night – contact a local cinema or ask your university
or college if they have facilities for you to show films.
– Pub Crawl – arrange a night to visit a variety of bars.
– T ype of Event
Have a look over the list of examples below and consider what
event would appeal most to the members of the society.
– V enue
If you are using/hiring an external venue, make sure you
explain that it is an LGBT group and the staff are supportive
of your event.
– L ocation
Think about accessibility and ensure that everyone can get
to the venue easily. It’s also important to consider if it is safe
for people travelling home.
– T ime of Event
Make sure that you think about the timing of your event;
when do people have assignments/ exams, and when are
people most likely to come along.
– M
Will your event be inclusive of your society membership and
if one event doesn’t appeal to everyone, think about doing
something different for your next event.
– Hill Walk – get your society outdoors and plan a walk in the
country. Remember to think about safety and plan walks.
– Ghost Walk – many cities hold ghost walks at night. Arrange
for your group to all get scared together!
– Sports Day – arrange your own sports day in the park. It can
be as serious or silly as you like, from Olympic competitions to
egg and spoon races.
– Picnic – ask everyone to make or bring something to eat and
then meet in a local park for an afternoon to eat and chat.
LGBT Events
– Pride – there are various Pride events held in Scotland. Why
not arrange to go as a group, or make a banner to join in with
the march.
– IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) is the 17th May.
Check out for ideas around how
to get involved.
– T rans Remembrance Day is 20th November.
See for more information
– W
orld AIDS Day is the 1st Dec. Why not mark it by running
safer sex awareness events at your university or college.
– National Coming Out Day is the 11th October.
continued over
Running A Social Event continued
– Name Chain
Ask all participants to stand in a circle and ask one person to
volunteer themselves. They start by saying their name with
an adjective in front of it that starts with the same letter as
their name, like Excitable Euan. Then the next person does
the same, but has to repeat the last person too (I’m Interesting
Ian, and this is Excitable Euan). Keep going until everyone has
had a shot.
– Similarities
Everyone has to find a partner and come up with three things
that they have in common. The pairs then have to join with
another pair and come up with three similarities that all four
people have in common. Keep repeating until you are left
with one whole group.
– Two Truths & A Lie
Ask everyone to sit in a circle and tell them they have
5 minutes to think of three pieces of information about
themselves. Two pieces should be true and one should be
a lie. Ask for a volunteer to start, and then work your way
around the circle. Each person should tell the rest of the
group the three things about themselves and the rest of
the group have to guess which one is a lie.
– Cornflakes
Ask all participants except one to get a chair/hoop and make a
circle, or to randomly spread themselves out across the room.
The one person who doesn’t have a chair/hoop stands in the
middle. They have to then shout out a statement like:
Everyone wearing blue change
Everyone who had toast for breakfast change
Everyone who the statement applies to has to swap places
with someone else. Meanwhile the person in the middle has
to try and steal one of the places. Whoever doesn’t get a
space stands in the middle and shouts the next statement.
Alternatively, they can shout cornflakes and everyone has
to change.
– Human Scrabble
Print out single letters on A4 sheets of paper and give each
person one letter. For every 8-9 people playing form a team.
Tell participants that you are going to shout out categories
and the members of each team have to arrange themselves
in order to spell a word that fits into the category. The players
whose letters are not being used must crouch down. Whatever
team spells a word first that fits get 1 point. After each round
allow each team the opportunity to swap one of their letters
for a new one.
Categories could be a colour, a name, a body part, a country,
a building, a piece of furniture, etc…
LGBT Students
To The Local Scene
As an LGBT society, you will probably have some events that take
place in the local ‘scene’. Having good links to the local gay scene
is a good idea both so you can meet potential new members for the
society and so you can run events at or with these venues.
However, it is also an important role of an LGBT society to
introduce LGBT students to their local scene and ensure
students are aware of safety when out and about.
Your society should provide information for LGBT students
that is relevant, up to date and useful.
Here are some ideas:
– Develop a local ‘gay’ map that shows where all the LGBT
friendly bars, clubs, restaurants, cafe’s and community
spaces are located
– Take into account age restrictions of each venue, and list up
to date opening and closing times, theme nights, usual clientele
e.g. mostly lesbian, mixed etc and even reviews from local
– Safe walking routes home – advise routes that are well lit,
busy public areas and easy to access.
– Suggest some safety tips for students to follow while they are
out and about -you can speak to you local community safely
police officer who will help with this (contact your local police
station, or ask to speak to the equalities officer/LGBT liaison
officer at police stations in larger cities)
– To get the map designed, speak to the art and design
students at your university or college
– Why not see if some of the local bars would like to sponsor
this map, that way you can get it printed rather than simply
having it online - make sure their logo is featured if they do
sponsor you.
– Make sure you include community spaces, LGBT friendly art
galleries and other non-scene related venues as some LGBT
people may prefer this type of scene
Safety on
The Scene Guide
Going out on the scene can be a lot of fun, but once you’ve
had a few drinks, it can be easy to forget to look after
yourself and your friends and make sure everyone is safe.
Below is a list of things to consider to make the most of your night
out and ensure everyone has a good time right until the end.
Go out and come home in a group
More friends mean more fun, and if you party in a group, it means
you can all look out for one another. Walking to and from bars
and clubs on your own
Keep money aside for a taxi
Always put money aside for getting a taxi home. If you are leaving
a bar or club late at night and have been drinking, even if you are
in a group, you are more vulnerable to being mugged or attacked.
Also, if you get split up from your group, or want to leave at a
different time from others, you don’t have to walk home alone.
Make sure your phone is charged
If you are having a big night out, make sure your phone is well
charged, so if you lose people you can get in touch, or you can
phone a taxi to take you home.
Leave valuables at home
Only take what is necessary on a night out, as it can be easy to
lose things or have expensive items stolen. Also, don’t carry large
sums of cash. It’s easier to take out more money if you need it
than carrying lots and losing it.
Pace yourself
It can seem more sociable to buy drinks in rounds, but this
often means keeping up with the fastest drinker. Buying your
own drinks, means you can drink at your own pace and stop
when you’ve had enough. It’s also a good idea to drink water
in-between alcoholic drinks to keep yourself hydrated.
Keep an eye on your drink
Make sure you don’t leave your drink unattended as someone
could slip drugs into it. If you are going to the toilet, leave your
drink with a trusted friend.
Make sure people know where you’re going
If you go decide to go home with someone, make sure someone
knows where you are going. Arrange a time to call each other
the next day, so you can let them know you are home safely.
and Peer Support
LGBT Societies can offer valuable support to some students. If
you have a larger or more established society, you may consider
offering an informal befriending service for newer members.
What Is Befriending?
Befriending is a form of peer support, where more established
members are matched with newer members to offer friendship,
advice and support in a non-judgemental way. This could be
as little as arranging to meet a new member half an hour before
a society meeting to discuss what the society does and to
introduce the new member to others. More intensive befriending
involves meeting up with another member on a regular basis to
provide informal support or company.
Things to Consider
– Think about your society’s capacity before starting a
befriending scheme (do you have a group of committed
– Identify someone who can co-ordinate the service.
– Develop policies or guidance around the service, such
as a code of conduct.
– Always have two befrienders at initial befriendee meetings.
– On the initial meeting, the befriendee should have the service
explained to them fully and they should be given a list of
guidelines to follow.
– Always ask the befriendee who he/she wants to talk
to (younger / older / trans etc).
– All emails regarding befriending should be passed to the
co-ordinator to manage.
– Always meet in a public place, but allow the person to
decide where to meet (mostly coffee shops).
– What is discussed during befriending sessions should only
be shared with the co-ordinator if the befriender is worried
about the befriendee’s safety or someone else’s safety.
The befriender should let the befriendee know where possible
if they are going to share information.
– Think about how you will advertise the service.
– The co-ordinator should be informed of the outcomes of the
meeting afterwards, and be told when the meeting is over
and that everyone is safe.
– Produce information and guidance for befriendees, so they
know what to expect from the service.
– If a romantic relationship occurs, the befriender and befriendee
should stop befriending immediately.
– Make sure volunteers know their own limitations and don’t try
to give advice on specialist subjects, like mental health.
– If you know you can’t handle the situation you should pass
it over to the co-ordinator.
– Provide training and guidance for volunteer befrienders.
– Ensure that all volunteer befrienders understand confidentiality
before they start.
– Have a list of contacts of support organisations who you can
signpost clients to that need more in-depth support or advice.
– If for any reason you feel uncomfortable, speak to the
co-ordinator about this.
– Avoid using personal phone numbers or emails.
– Encourage befriendees to attend events and meetings
to meet others, but don’t be pushy.
continued over
Befriending continued
First Steps
Useful Websites
1. Speak to your university or college about setting up
a befriending service (They may have certain rules
or guidance about such services)
To find out more information on befriending visit:
2. Identify a Co-ordinator
3. Set up policies and guidance around the service
4. Recruit volunteers
5. Provide adequate training
6. Promote the service
7. Develop confidential databases to record who is befriending
who, when meetings are happening, and to detail any incidents
or concerns and how these were dealt with.
Befriending Network Scotland
Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
Going Further
Running a Campaign
Dealing with the Press
Working with Partners
How to
Run a Campaign
Many LGBT societies concentrate on social events and peer
support, but if you are interested in making your society a bit
more political, why not run a campaign.
Why campaign?
– Raise the profile of the society
Running a campaign is a really good way to get your society
noticed and raise its profile both within and out with the
university or college. Campaigns make good stories for campus
newspapers or radio stations, and may even attract the
attention of the local press (See Dealing With The Press card).
– Recruit new members or supporters
Campaigns allow you to consult with the wider student body,
which in turn can often lead to new recruits. Furthermore,
a society that runs campaigns will often attract different
students than that of a society that just holds social meetings.
Campaigns are also a great way to build support from
non-LGBT students too and build up a team of LGBT allies.
– Raise awareness of LGBT issues
Having an LGBT society at your university or college will at
least make other students more aware that there is an LGBT
presence. A campaign, however, can provide the opportunity
to really reach out to other students and educate them on
the issues faced by LGBT people. This can, in turn, increase
support for LGBT students on campus.
– Provide opportunities to work in partnership
with other organisations
Before you decide on a campaign area, why not do some
research into other LGBT groups and organisations. They might
already be running a campaign that you can support or be
able to provide ideas for your own campaign. Whatever comes
out of it, it will provide you with the opportunity to establish
external links and make new working relationships.
– Improve conditions for other LGBT students
at your university or college
Running a campaign can be the first step to challenging
homophobia within your university or college or providing LGBT
students with greater rights. Beginning with campaigns that
focus on issues for LGBT people at your university or college
rather than on a global scale, will mean there is more chance
to make progress and achieve what you set out. It might not
feel like much, but making your campus more LGBT friendly
will have a huge impact on many students’ lives
– Change the world!
Local campaigning is important, but it also doesn’t mean you
should shy away from the bigger issues, especially if your
society already has some experience of running campaigns.
If you do decide to run a campaign that focuses on a more
general issue for LGBT people, such as equal marriage or
fighting for the decriminalisation of homosexuality across
the globe, be realistic about what your society can achieve.
Just because something isn’t going to change overnight,
doesn’t mean it’s not worth campaigning about, but running
a campaign where you see no progress over a long period
of time can be demotivating. Think about shorter term goals
within the campaign that you can work towards and celebrate
achievements when they happen to keep spirits up.
continued over
Running A Campaign continued
1.Deciding on a campaign topic
This can often be the trickiest part. Why not look in the LGBT
press or internet to see what issues for LGBT people are current.
Alternatively, you could create a short questionnaire to find out
what issues other LGBT students feel most strongly about. If
you pick a campaign that lots of people are interested in, you’re
more likely to get greater support when you start running it.
2.Campaign Aims
Once you have agreed on a campaign topic, it’s time to think
about what you are hoping to achieve. Are you looking to
raise awareness about a certain issue, change policies within
your university, raise money for a relevant cause or lobby the
government? Your campaign aims will play and important part
in shaping what your campaign looks like.
3.Shaping Your Campaign
There are lots of different ways you can campaign, so get
creative. Rather than collecting signatures for a petition,
why not gather photos with people holding a sign to say
they support the campaign. Or create a social networking
group page to gather supporters from all over. If you would
like to do something more active, why not arrange a rally or
march? Most local authorities will accept applications to run
peaceful demonstrations, as long as you give them enough
notice. Contact your local council to find out how to make
an application. At the bottom of this page is a list of other
campaigning ideas.
4.Create a Timeline
Successful campaigns are well planned with short term goals
to keep people interested. Changing attitudes or legislation
doesn’t happen quickly, so think about building in elements of
the campaign that can be achieved relatively easily. Creating
a timeline will let you breakdown each stage of the campaign
and work out what needs to be done. It will also allow you to
think about who is responsible for each part of the campaign.
The more people who know about your campaign, the more
support you are likely to get, so make sure you use every
opportunity to promote it (See Advertising & Promotion card).
Getting celebrity endorsement also helps too. Think about who
is most likely to be sympathetic to the issue and work out a
straightforward way for them to show their support. It could be
as simple as a short statement, letter of support, or photograph
with campaign materials.
To run a campaign you might think about getting posters
printed or badges or stickers made to encourage others to
get involved. All these things cost money, so you might want
to build fundraising into the beginning of your campaign
timeline (See Fundraising card).
7.Celebrate Successes
Keep fellow campaigners motivated and energised by
taking time to celebrate achievements along the way.
Equally, keep your student newspaper or radio up to date
with your progress.
Campaign Ideas
Campaigning involves a variety of methods to get peoples
attentions, here are just a few: Public petitions, Street march,
Public Rally, Leaflets, Flash Mobs, Graffiti Wall, Public Debate
Event, Letter writing to politicians and Poster Campaigns.
Dealing with
the Press
The press can be a really useful tool for LGBT societies to
use to help support campaigns, raise awareness and get
their message out there.
Most colleges and universities will have a campus newspaper,
which can be a great place to start. Local press can also be
used, but it is important to consider some of the points below
before working with them.
Why will we need to deal with press?
Campus and local press may ask LGBT societies to comment
on current issues, or may want to cover campaigns or events
that you are running. It can often be harder to get local press
interested in your events and campaigns and sometimes you will
only really be contacted by them when they are leading a story.
Things to consider:
–Is the story the press are running relevant to your work?
Does it make sense for your society to comment, or would it
be better to link the press to other local organisations?
–Identify a spokesperson who will be the contact person for
each press enquiry. Often it is best if this is the same person,
as they can build up positive links with local papers.
–Always speak to other members when shaping a response
to the press and make sure that the opinion you are giving is
shared by the society as a whole
–If it is local press that have contact you, let the campus
newspaper/radio station know so they can run a similar
story if it is of interest.
–Sometimes you will be able to make a deal with local press,
in return for a statement or comment on their story, you may
be able to secure their coverage of one of your campaigns.
–Make sure you link any comment or response to press with
your current campaign and activity - this is free advertising!
–Do some research on the newspaper/radio station that
has made the enquiry. Check that they are LGBT friendly
and always ask what they are writing about before making
If you are inviting the press to take part or cover an event,
think about the following:
–Make early links with their news desk and have an official
press release sent out.
–If you know of an LGBT friendly reporter contact them
directly first to check out if there is interest in your story
–Identify one person who will be the press contact for the story
and always make sure it is this person who speaks on behalf
of the society - the last thing you need is mixed messages.
–Think about an angle that will interest the press - often joining
forces with larger organisations will give you more weight and
respect from press
After the event/story
It can be a good idea to keep a record of your press involvement,
try keeping a folder with copies of all the stories and contacts
you have made. Get the stories up on your own website to raise
awareness of them.
and Fundraising
If you are lucky, your society may receive a budget from the
university or college. If you don’t get financial support or are
looking to top up existing funds, this card will give you some
ideas around fundraising.
Why Fundraise?
Fundraising will increase your society’s ability to advertise itself,
have resources produced, hold events, or raise funds for other
causes. Fundraising is also a good way to let other people know
about your society and have a bit of fun along the way.
Before you start fundraising, you need somewhere to keep the
money. If your society doesn’t have a bank account, it’s a good
idea to set one up. Money belonging to the society should never
be placed in someone’s personal bank account. Banks will advise
you what type of account would be best for your society. These
types of account are sometimes called a Treasurer’s Account.
This means that you need at least two signatures on each
cheque. This stops anyone defrauding the society.
Things to Consider
– If you are fundraising in a public place or a university or college
campus, you must get permission to do so. Contact your local
council or Students’ Union to find out the procedure.
– Research some of the fundraising activities that have taken
place in your college or university or around your area in the
past – what was successful, what was well attended, what
ideas could be replicated?
– Think about the key dates in the LGBT calendar such as World
Aids Day (01/12), National Coming Out Day (11/10), History Month
(February), IDAHO (17/05) and how you could use these as a
vehicle for fundraising, or themed events;
– Would it be beneficial to have collection cans around
your college or university and local bars/venues to help
collect funds?
Below are some fundraising ideas, but this list is just a start
and the more creative you can be the better the outcome!
Fundraising Ideas
– Sponsored event (run, cycle, parachute jump, silence, etc…)
– Event (big gay ball, race night, picnic, pink sports day)
– Bring and buy sale
– Bake sale
– Collection cans
– Online donations page
– Quiz night at the local
Where to Start?
Hosting events can be time consuming and financially reliant,
therefore it is a good idea to decide if you have a budget to
spend up front or if the event needs to be run on minimal costs.
If you don’t have experience running events, it can always be
a good idea to start small and work your way up to the big
extravaganzas. Below are some steps you might want to follow
that will help your fundraising go smoothly.
– Put together a fundraising sub group within your society who
will be responsible for the fundraising function of your work
– Set a target to aim for and decide how the money will be
spent once it is raised
– Plan ahead using key calendar dates and seasonal themes
to agree on the types of fundraising activity you will deliver –
it can be useful if you out all the fundraising you want to do
for 6 month blocks.
– After each event, make sure 2 people count the money and
get it to the bank as soon as possible; this reduces the risk
that things can go missing or be forgotten about.
– If a venue, organisation or business is helping you out,
remember to say a big thank you to them, both personally
and publicly on your website or at the event itself
Funding from Trusts
Another way to access money is to look into making small
applications to funding trusts and societies. Each funder will have
different critera, however all will ask that you have your own bank
account. Many funders require you to be a registered charity,
however other’s offer smaller funds to less formal groups.
When applying for funds, try to ensure your application answers
the following key questions:
1. Who are you, what are your main activities and who are
your clients or users?
– Make sure you leave enough time in between events not
only to plan the next one but to give your audience a break
from parting with their cash!
2. What is the need for the project/event/activity you are applying
for and how do you know it is needed (this is the evidence)
– Enlist volunteers to give you more ‘man power’ on the day
3. What will be the benefits to your clients or users if you run
the project/event/activity?
– Make sure you know what the ‘added extra’ is for businesses
or organisations you hope to get involved, you will need to
sell the idea to them in order to get their buy in
4. How will you collect information so that you know you
have made the difference you want to?
– Call in all the favours from friends you can manage – perhaps
they can help with donations for a raffle, maybe they manage
or work in a venue that would like to help out?
Useful websites and funders
– Create a budget for each event; make sure you know what you
need to spend and how much you realistically can raise e.g.
if you run a quiz night, you will need a venue, pens and paper
sheets for everyone (this might have print costs attached), if
you charge £1.50 to enter, and the venue holds 100 people, the
most you will make from entry is £150 – if you spend £50 on
pens, venue, volunteer t-shirts etc you will be loosing profit.
Hugh Fraser Foundation (no website)
Working in
Partnership with
other Societies
and Organisations
Running events, activities and campaigns can often benefit
from the input of other societies and relevant organisations.
Why should we get others involved?
What to consider when developing partnerships
– By bringing other people on board you will broaden the
range of skills and expertise you have to organise the event
or campaign.
Partnerships can be very beneficial and there are some
important points to consider when beginning or progressing
through a partnership.
– If you are aware of other societies and organisations that
have a shared goal, then sharing the workload makes sense
and will strengthen the LGBT student community.
– Is the partner/society an appropriate one for your chosen
event or campaign e.g. do they have the same goals, are they
LGBT friendly, does it make sense for them to be involved.
– Joined forces means more contacts and access to new
networks which could provide you with new members,
new funders and more support.
– What will be the role for each partner? It is important that you
are realistic about the roles for each partner. For example, it
may not always make sense for your society to be the lead
partner if the other organisation is larger, better resourced and
more experienced.
– The reputation of the LGBT society will be boosted by
involvement in larger events and campaigns that are run
in partnership.
– Having an identified contact person from your society can
ensure that communication with your partners is smooth
and does not cause any delays or difficulties.
– If resources or material is produced during the project, will
both parties have equal rights to use this or will it belong to
one of the partners?
– What are the expectations for each partner to contribute?
Make sure you are clear from the start about what each
partner wants to achieve from the project and what they
expect each partner to contribute e.g. funding, volunteers,
contacts, venue space.
How to find a partner
– Think about organisations or other societies who you
already have links to, or who have solid reputations.
– If the prospective partner is unknown to you, do some
research and find out what work like this they have done
before. e.g. are the LGBT friendly, have they run campaigns,
do they have a history of working with student groups.
– Introduce yourself and briefly outline the project/event/
campaign that you would like their support with. It is important
that you are clear about the project from the start so that you
can demonstrate you have thought about who will make the
best partner.
– Ensure you have a good ‘reason’ behind why you are
contacting the specific organisation to be a partner and
communicate this with them during the introduction e.g.
perhaps you want to campaign about safety on campus,
it would make sense to get local police involved, but it
wouldn’t make sense to ask Oxfam to be a partner.
– Be clear about what you can offer – if it is a commercial
partnership, perhaps you can offer to include their logo on
material produced, or on your website, this might sell it to them
– If the partner is another society, make sure your project will suit
the needs of both societies and take into account differences
in geographic location, society members and size.
Ideas for partnership projects
Here are a few ideas about partnerships that we think would be
worthwhile and productive for different styles of events, projects
and campaigns:
– Ball or dance to raise money - develop partnerships with
local clubs who might like to run this with you.
– STI testing campaign - speak to a local LGBT youth or health
centre who may have already done some work in this area
and could advise you about next steps.
– Demonstration or protest about LGBT rights in different
countries - Amnesty International and IGLYO (International
Gay & Lesbian Youth & Student Organisation) can provide
you with support and ideas .
– Comparative attitudes survey amongst students - get in
touch with an LGBT society in another city who are willing
to do this project with you.
– Support intergenerational work – why not get in touch with
LGBT Youth Scotland to see if older students can host a
day at the university for some younger members.
Other Useful Bits
Legislation and Policy
Useful Websites and Links
and Policies
When setting up or running an LGBT society, you need to be
aware of relevant legislation and policies and how they might
affect you. Legislation and policies should be thought about
on three levels:
Internal policies
Policies developed by the society to define processes and rules.
Institutional policies
University or college policies that must be followed by individuals
and groups within the institution.
National policies
Government/European policies that must be followed by
institutions within the UK.
This might sound complicated, but it is your university or college’s
responsibility to make you aware of what policies you must follow
as a society. The first port of call will probably be your student
association (if your university/college has one). They can advise
you on existing legislation already in place, and how it will affect
your society.
Things To Consider
Although your university or college should be able to give you any
advice or guidance around policies relevant to your society, here
is a list of some of the main policies any society should have an
understanding of:
– Data Protection
If you are storing information about your members, you must
keep this in a secure place and ensure only relevant members
have access to it. It’s also a good idea to create a registration
form for new members to gather details around medical or
health issues, allergies and emergency contacts.
– Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
Any group who may work with young people under 16 or adults
who are classed as ‘vulnerable’ should have a basic protection
policy that outlines how they will ensure safety and protection
of these people. Vulnerable Adults are defined as adults who
at that time are ‘unable to make informed decisions about their
safety or the safety of others’ – this may be due to mental
health problems, trauma or personal issues. You can get in
touch with LGBT Youth Scotland for more info about putting
together this type of policy.
– Confidentiality
As your society will be working with a whole range of people,
it is important to remember that some people are more private
than others and their right to confidentiality must be respected.
It is sensible to have a confidentiality policy in place that details
the society’s values and beliefs around confidentiality and data
sharing. When formulating your policy, think about some of the
following possible scenarios:
– students who wish to attend but who are not ‘out’’ to
friends and family
– students with higher levels of support needs who do not
want others to know about their personal situation
– students who make a complaint but do not want their
details shared with those involved
– Money Handling
If your society is going to be doing any fundraising you should
have a policy in place that outlines how you will safeguard the
collection and saving of funds. You may want to include the
use of money collection sheets for fundraisers, a policy that
2 society members count money raised together to ensure
transparency and record keeping of funds by the treasurer.
Preferred Pronoun
Are you out to this person?
We can contact them
With my consent
Date of Birth
Do you have any special
Do you have any
Do you have any medical
Are you taking any
GP Name
GP Phone
Emergency Contact Name
Emergency Contact Phone
In emergency
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.
A man who is physically/emotionally attracted to other men.
Someone who is born with genitals and/or their internal
reproductive organs which are not clearly male or female. Doctors
may make a decision as to assign one gender shortly after birth.
A woman who is physically/emotionally attracted to other women.
Someone who doesn’t clearly fit into the typical masculine and
feminine gender roles of society physically and/or emotionally.
A person who is physically/emotionally attracted to both men
and women.
People who reject defining their gender as simply male or female.
A person who is physically/emotionally attracted to the
opposite gender.
Someone who identifies as a different gender to that which they
were assigned at birth. It is also an umbrella term used to include
all categories within the trans community, including transsexuals,
cross-dressers, androgynes, and polygender people.
Someone whose physical body does not match their gender
identity and changes their physical appearance usually through
hormones and surgery to better align their physical body and
gender identity.
Trans man
Someone who is born with a female body, but whose gender
identity is male and transitions to live permanently as a man.
Trans woman
Someone who is born with a male body, but whose gender
identity is female and transitions to live permanently as a woman.
Cross Dresser
Someone who is happy with their physical gender but dresses
as the opposite gender at times for various reasons.
Gender Fluid
Similar to Polygender, people who see themselves as being
both male and female or neither.
Drag King/Queen
Someone who dresses and takes on the persona and gender
characteristics of the opposite sex usually in an exaggerated
form. This is usually for performance or fun.
Coming Out
Knowing and telling people who you are and who you are
attracted to.
When someone is still unsure about their sexual orientation.
The assumption that everyone is heterosexual/straight.
The belief that heterosexual/straight people are better than
LGBT people.
The irrational fear or hatred of LGBT people. This is often
expressed through physical or verbal abuse.
Useful Websites
and Links
LGBT Youth Scotland
Gay and Lesbian Youth Northern Ireland
Equality Network
Belong To – LGBT Youth Organisation, Ireland
National LGBT Forum
International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender
and Queer Youth and Student Organisation
Queer Youth Network (Online Forum)
Stonewall Scotland
Scotland’s LGBT Domestic Abuse Project
Human Rights Campaign
Scottish Transgender Alliance
Gender Identity Research and Education Society
International Gay and Lesbian Association
Amnesty International

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