Coming out at La Trobe
You're welcome at La Trobe
We pride ourselves on our inclusivity of LGBTIQ people at La Trobe University, and are home to the Australian leaders in LGBTIQ health. We appreciate that coming out as Same Sex Attracted or Gender Diverse can be at once exciting, affirming, frightening and confronting.
For some, University is the first place you feel safe to come out, for others, it is a place to reaffirm your sexuality or gender identity. We want to support you no matter where you are at in exploring or affirming your sexuality, gender or sex.
'When people ask me about myself I have this dilemma. I can say I'm a Science and Tech student – I know that's the sort of thing they expect to hear – or how I like to play Halo or even that I come from Malaysia … but I spend a lot of time thinking about what words I can use to describe my sexuality and gender. At the moment I'd say I have a man's body, that I think of myself as a woman and that I am mostly attracted to women. Being part of the LGBQT community means that I have a place that I belong where I can be a Malaysian Science and Technology student who likes to play Halo.'
Coming out 101
Some might like it if the steps to coming out were taught in a class, but there is no one way of coming out. What is certain is that it's best to come out when you feel safe enough to. Some people come out by telling a few friends and family face-to-face first, others announce it to everyone on Facebook in one fell swoop, while some don’t really come out formally.
'When I first realised I had a same-sex crush on a classmate, my whole world was shaking...'
Coming out can be a scary time, especially if you have homophobic parents, or come from a homophobic community. If you struggle with your sexuality, you can contact the Counselling Services and:
- speak to a counsellor
- speak to a LGBTIQ student mentor, or ‘queer peer’, or get involved with an LGBTIQ social or support group on campus
- or connect to your local community.
We recognise that your sexuality is rarely about ticking a box and more about where you fit on a spectrum, and that this may change from day to day or year to year. At La Trobe University you will find a non-judgmental community, which celebrates sexual diversity. If you want to explore where you fit on this spectrum, you can have a look at The Genderbread Person.
Support and connection
Our LGBTIQ Programs include individual counselling and support as well as opportunities to connect with the LGBTIQ community at and around your campus.
'When first beginning my transition, the LGBTQI counsellor really helped me to feel proud of who I am. I found my lecturers and peers have been not only respectful, but accepting and encouraging. I have found a sense of community through La Trobe where I previously had none.' -Elijah - Student at Bendigo Campus.
La Trobe Counselling Services Queer Counsellors
- Melbourne - Davina Morley 9479 2956
- Bendigo - Lachlan Slade 5444 7223
- Shepparton – Hillary Mayne 5820 8600
- Albury-Wodonga - 6024 9627
- Mildura - 5022 3614.
'I gradually came to regain my confidence and accept myself the way I am. Being gay is as normal as being straight...'