The Blog That Took Over 2 Weeks To Write

LGBTa blog

Hey interested readers/my friends who I force to read this in an attempt to validate the existence of this blog.

I’ve been at a placement at the oriental museum so I haven’t written a blog for a while, but I am now on a train, and since my travel buddy prefers knitting to my amazing and interesting conversation, so this is a perfect time to write this.

Fun fact- I stopped writing after that first paragraph because my travel buddy read what I had written and decided to actually talk to me. Its been almost 2 weeks and I have only just started writing this again. I hope everyone is getting excited for starting university. A lot of the Frep’s and exec’s are already there and fresher’s are all arriving soon (some are even arriving today!!!) IT’S REALLY EXCITING! For all of the freshers starting out this year, make sure to come and see us during fresher’s fair. The first fair is at Queens Campus on the Tuesday of the week, then we are in Durham for Wednesday and Thursday. We will have a stall, we will be there all day, and there will always be at least two of us there (sometimes even three!). This is a great time to sign up for our mailing list, ask any questions you have, or just meet us.

In addition to this our mighty president Jo has been “rolling out” active bystander intervention training for the fresher’s reps. I (along with several other members of Welfare Equality and Diversity Committee) took part in a demo for the active bystander intervention training near the end of last year. It’s really good and it’s a really useful skill to understand. If anyone would like to get more involved with it, then please contact the LGBTa, I would strongly recommend it.

Vulnerability and Diversity training. Including both active bystander training and alot of yellow
Vulnerability and Diversity training. Including both active bystander training and a lot of dashing yellow

On other university news, some of you may have seen that the Students with Disabilities Association is re-establishing under new leadership. It even has a funky new logo. The Students with Disabilities Association serves a similar purpose to the LGBTa. It aims to represent the Students with disabilities at Durham University, and aims to ensure the university is acting in a fair way. If you want to be involved in any way you can contact them through their face book group The associations have to look out for each #bestbuds

Student with Disabilities associations new logo!
Student with Disabilities associations new logo!

On the non-university side of news. I have previously mentioned the LGBT Leaders conference, one of the organisers has written about why you should attend. Here is a link to that, ( I’ve included it in this blog as it is a really good scheme, and both me and president Jo are big supporters of it, but also if you look really closely at the picture for it, you can see me!!! (also you can see Educate Celebrates Elly Barnes- in a fabulous green jacket that I want).

It's me!
It’s me!

I am so excited for the upcoming year. I have essentially have a new wardrobe for this academic year, and that’s the sign of true excitement. Though I am mostly excited for meeting all of the new freshers! Just FYI a lot of my friends graduated last year, so I have friend vacancies….just saying (#needy)

Stay brilliant!


P.S. There has been exciting talk on the exec page about a possible new social event next year, I won’t say what it is, but I will say I’m very excited.

P.S.S. I’ve used the word excited 4 times, a sign that my vocabulary is quite limited. So please snap chat or tweet us alternative words instead of excited


LGBTa blog: The one with a picture of a dog at the end, so you need to read all of it.

Hey readers! I hope everyone is having a nice summer and excited for university to restart. I have been packing for Durham today, and I am packing all my autumnal jumpers. Winter is coming and I am determined to be snug like a bug wrapped in a rug.

Due to it being the middle of the holidays, not many things have happened for the LGBTa since the last blog, but we have had one BIG THING! The exec have been talking quite a lot with a fun man named Sebastian. He says quirky things like “Durham Peeps”, and despite being called Sebastian, he is not a Jamaican crab. In addition to all of this, he works with the charity Educate & Celebrate (the charity ran by Elly Barnes- who is also amazing). Educate & Celebrate have set up a scheme called the “Youth Pride Network” ( and starting this academic year the LGBTa shall be a part of it. The scheme works by pairing up LGBT+ associations with local schools and colleges. We will help with the planning of LGBT History Month, Anti-Bullying Week and IDAHOT for local schools (the specific schools will be announced soon). This scheme is terribly exciting, and if you are like me and are very excited then feel free to get involved. We are looking for volunteers to help with either the childcare/educating side of it, or just to help celebrate LGBTQ+ identities! If you are interested please contact our lovely campaigns officer Harriet (

Sebastian has joined my list of
We ❤ Sebastian

We also have some exciting news from St Aidan’s college! In addition to my role as Media and Publicity officer for the LGBTa, I am acting co-president of the St Aidans LGBTIQ+ society. St Aidan’s college (to the best of my belief) has always had a “unisex toilet”, however it was built because the corridor it is on simply didn’t have space for two bathrooms. I have been talking with our college principle about changing the sign on the door from “Uni-sex” to “Gender neutral”, and I have received an email telling me it has been done.

As there is not much to write about in this blog, I can take a little bit of time to have an awkward interview with myself and write about why I thought this change was worth pursuing. It’s great we’ve had a gender neutral bathroom for all this time, and the word Uni-sex isn’t necessarily a bad word, it just holds a large amount of emphasis on sex, opposed to gender. In addition to this I have been researching the meaning of unisex and a lot of definitions show it as meaning “both sex’s” and a lot of people believe it to be quite binary. Unfortunately the picture of a male and a female figure is still on the bathroom, which does encourage the idea of binary genders, but I will talk to the principle and I’m sure she we can fix it.  It is a small change, but I hope people will see it as a big change. As I said previously, the bathroom was originally built for pragmatic reasons, not necessarily due to believing gender neutral bathrooms are important. I’m hoping by changing the sign, and changing the focus from sex to gender, it shows that St Aidan’s understands the importance of such facilities.

The only time being sent a picture of a bathroom sign is good news.

That’s all from the awkward interview with myself, and it’s all from this entry! Remember to keep up with our Instagram, twitter and snap chat. We’re called Durham LGBTa on all of them. Honestly I follow everyone back on Instagram, so it’s worth following us #followforafollow. Also if you have any questions about anything (such as who your college LGBT rep is) feel free to message us and we’ll do our best to help 🙂

Stay Wonderful!


P.S. If you are an Aidanite and would like to join St Aidan’s LGBTIQ+ society, we have a Facebook page

P.P.S. There have been no pictures of dogs for a while, so here’s one. She thinks my desk is her bed.

Durham LGBTa blog- the one I tried really hard on

Glasses- check

Cup of tea- check

4 hour distraction to find a lost dog- check

Dog found- check

Time to write a blog.

Hey regular, loyal readers, and hey new -hopefully soon to be regular and loyal- readers who have just got their results!! As most people will know A level results were revealed recently. All of our executive committee are so excited for all the new faces we will have at our socials, and a giant congratulations to everyone who got the grades they wanted! For anyone who has just started reading these blogs I will quickly explain the purpose of these blogs. These blogs are done to make the association more transparent and make everyone aware of our activities. It’s also a place where I can raise awareness of other LGBT events that our service users may be interested in. It’s a very exciting place really.

The first exciting thing that’s happened is I now know what our twitter password is. I have been a terrible media and publicity rep because I have been too embarrassed to admit I don’t know the twitter password and as a result haven’t been using twitter. However I now know the password. Moments after re-joining the twitterverse, I entered a brief twitter feud with Van Milderts Fresher rep Twitter account over whose stash had the most flash, our blue stash, or Milderts bright yellow. Now its over, I must admit I would quite like yellow stash, so I’m probably just a bit jealous. It’s all good now though. This has been my crash course in how to twitter, so please tweet us. Our replies are often hilarious and come with fun gifs (often featuring Beyonce). Joanna helps run the twitter, so an easy guide to our twitter is as follows, if it’s a serious post- it was done by Joanna, if it’s hilarious (or thinks it’s hilarious but really isn’t)- it was done by me.

And all was well with the Durham twitterverse
And all was well with the Durham twitterverse

We’re hoping to have more of a presence in Queens Campus this year. We always try to do a little bit in Stockton, but our Stockton presence has not been very good recently (for example I have never even been to Queens Campus). We now have a group for LGBT in Queens’s campus , it includes a vote for what you want us to do during our queens campus socials, so go ahead and join it! I know you want to.

That’s all the LGBTa stuff I will talk about in this entry, but there are two other events I am going to discuss briefly. One is the “FIRST EVER LGBTQ+ NIGHT-CLUB EVENT!” being hosted by LoveShack. It’s on Sunday 18th October! Loveshack is where the Post Durham Pride party has always happened (I say always, Durham Pride has only happened twice). It’s always been really fun, and I expect this night to be bigger and better! I’m going to wear my shirts with the campervans on it, then go and sit in the camper van next to dance floor and sit there on my own smugly thinking I’m really, really clever for a long time (as you can tell, I’m pretty wild). Here’s a link to the event page and you can get all the updates and buy tickets here

Me at the post Pride party at Loveshack, it was great and expect this event to be greater!
Me at the post Pride party at Loveshack (after my high vis jacket was wrestled away from me) it was great and expect this event to be greater!

The second thing is the LGBT Leadership conference. This is a conference that launched last year and was attended by both myself and ex-secretary Daniel Gostin. It was a really good event, and I spoke about it for literally months after. I’m very serious, I’ve only just stopped talking about it when they emailed to announce this year’s conference, so naturally I need to talk about it again. Last year the day was split into four different talks (you signed up for a talk out of several different options(varying from LGBT in the media/business/politics to talks about intersectionality’s or how what roles allies can play), with networking time in-between and free wine after (I liked that bit a lot), and even a video from sass queen Conchita Wurst. I fondly remember all the talks I went to, and it is honestly a very good event and I whole heartily recommend people attend. Here’s a link to the page, so do look into it.

LGBT Leadership conference, the place where strong jaw bones and orange walls meet (as well as my weak jaw bone)

I think that’s pretty much it. So stay brilliant every one.


P.S. new readers, please join our Instagram and snap chat. We’re called DurhamLGBTa on both. Free hugs to anyone who joins!

P.P.S I fixed the background so it’s now the right shade of blue, its been subtly wrong this whole time. Sorry.

p.p.p.s. Turns out I’m terrible at Twitter.

The one I wrote while watching wedding dress programs

Hey guys! This is the first blog I’ve done as a 22 year old, and that means it will be the best blog I have done as a 22 year old. I hope you can sense the added maturity I have acquired since becoming 22.

Up until this entry I have made a reference to our socials, and how they are super fun. I want to use this entry to discuss the two types of social hosted by the LGBTa. The first type of social is our weekly Monday socials in Osbourne’s. These are rather straight forward, you go to them, there is usually a drag queen, I will always be there being the dancing queen that I am, and they are just a good time. The second type of social is our “safe space social”, these socials are special. We used to have these socials directly before the Osbourne’s social, but we are currently in the process of revamping them. As a result of this I can’t say exactly how these socials will work, but I can talk about the purpose of them. Also if anyone has any ideas for them, feel free to message us! we love hearing your ideas.

One of our Osbournes socials with resident drag queen DJ Tess Tickle

The purpose of these socials is to allow members of the LGBT community who may not be comfortable attending public events or would prefer to attend more discreet events, to still be involved with the LGBTa. These events are hosted solely by the LGBTa, giving us complete control and as a result granting us the power to ensure socials are safe and chose a good environment and remove people who are threatening the comfort of our service users. In these events it is important for all the service users to not only respect the comfort level of each other during the socials itself, but to continue showing respect after the events end by being discreet about who else attends these events. The reason for this is that these socials are often a gateway for members of the LGBT community who are still closeted, and if you are not certain an individual at these events is out, its best to proceed under the assumption that it is a possibility. As an individual I am very passionate about these socials and about ensuring that we operate in a way which is as accessible for our service users. This is because I attended a large amount of safe space socials when I was closeted. This is a view mirrored by the exec as a whole. If someone who is closeted or questioning is brave enough to attend an event, the association need to do everything to support them and make them as comfortable as possible. Normal socials aren’t this strict, but it would be great if people could still respect the possibility that other service users are not as comfortable being as public as others.

That was a bit more serious than I normally am. Sorry about that. The next thing I would like to talk about is our campaigns! I have a Facebook message conversation with Campaign officer Harriet and Welfare officer Molly up, and there are so many messages! I think we’ve decided on the first campaign we will do, and it’s exciting. I won’t say what it is, because I’m scared that I once I give up all my secrets no one will talk to me or want to be my friend. Though I can reveal that we’ve been throwing around the word “white board” a lot, so be ready for active participation! White board campaigns are like the pantomimes of the campaign world (the only difference is pantomimes are awful and white board campaigns are good).

WHITE BOARDS!!!!! there will be more white boards this year

Feedback I have been receiving through the snap chat account (#keepsnapping), is that we should do some baking events. SO GUESS WHAT!…….. we have not planned any baking events. We will though, I am making as promise on this blog that I shall do my best to ensure some sort of baking event will occur. Along these lines, HAPPY BAKE OFF EVERYONE! A new series of bake off is coming, and I am literally so excited. I once received an email from Ex-contestant Ruby, and as a result I feel like me and her are best friends. I even wrote an article about her once. That’s what friends do right?

we WILL have some LGBT baking

Final thing, service user Andrew Shire (the thin one with the hair that flops) has started a blog He is using it to describe the activities of the Durham Revue at the Edinburgh Fringe festival (also known as the festival which has made many people unavailable for my birthday party). Make sure to check it out, and if you are in Edinburgh over August make sure to support our numerous service users who are performing.

The Revue are a silly bunch, support their silliness

I have the day of work today so I am going to tidy my room and play the new batman game.

Stay wonderful,


P.S. I’m batman

P.P.S I am writing this after the blog has gone live because I forgot to include something. This event is happening I will write about it more in the next blog because it is quite a big deal and I don’t want to just squeeze it on the end, I want it to get all the love it deserves.

Durham LGBTa: The one where I was to tired to come up with a clever title

Hey guys! Fun fact about me, I just did a personality test and in the result I am described as “a passionate, driven idealist in the work place” but “an enthusiastic free spirit on the dance floor”, so now you know that we can be best friends.

Welcome back to the exciting LGBTa blog, I was at a wedding yesterday and as a result am really tired and I think I’m a bit heat stroked, so if there are spelling mistakes (such as the “p.s.s.s.” incident of the last entry) please forgive me (also there will be no pics in this blog, (but you probably get enough from the snapshot)). Essentially this blogs not great, but pretend to like it, please.

I want to use this entry to quickly discuss how the LGBTa runs. The association has weekly socials and holds exec meetings the hour before each social. Despite the name of these meetings, everyone is welcome to attend the exec meeting. These meetings are held discuss the activities and future plans of the association. In addition to this we have less regularly events, such as campaigns or special events, a highlight being “Shipwrecked”, the annual LGBTa Halloween themed boat party. ISN’T THIS JUST SO EXCITING! As I just said anyone is welcome to help out and get involved, but if you want a more distinctive role you can apply for some of the vacant positions. These include the executive roles of “Social Secretary” and “Assistant Welfare”. Last  year I was assistant welfare, so if anyone has any questions about the role feel free to message me or email me at I really enjoyed being it and it was really fun. On the other-just as fun- hand, if you love parties and fun, feel free to message our president with questions about the role of social secretary.

In addition to this, the association is planning to increase our presence within Queens Campus. We would love to have the input of our service users, so please email with any ideas you may have! I am using this space to suggest we go to a petting zoo, I don’t know if there is one in queen’s campus, but if there if that’s what I want to do. Also if you have any non-queens campus related ideas feel free to message us! We like listening to you guys.

Something else that needs to be mentioned is Durham Pride. Durham Pride is a local charity. Both President Jo and myself attend their meetings and are involved. In addition to us, frequent Osbourne attendees Phil, EmJay and Dr Jamie Lawson are board members. They are not technically affiliated with the LGBTa, but we are friends with them. I won’t discuss them too much here, and I’ll wait to discuss their role until more of the new fresher’s are confirmed (otherwise I will need to repeat myself, and I’m scared I’ll bore you all!). However I can tell you that Sunday the 18th of October is an important date. Keep that in your head, and heart and don’t be busy on that day.

Remember how I always say that people should email me with stuff they want to be in the blog, people actually have this time!!! So here is some stuff our service users and friends are doing. One of our service users is named Courtney-Jo Cotton. She is the super little person at Osbournes who always requests Dolly Parton. She’s super nice and she’s a professional artist, so make sure to check out her art if you have a spare moment


P.S. My sources tell me that Adam Rafique (a fresher who shall join Durham next year) has offered to bake for all of our meetings and socials. It is in the blog, so we can now all expect him to bake everything.

The President Came To Visit

Hey guys! Steven here with a new blog entry. This blog may be a bit shorter than the previous ones, I am very sleepy from work and quite upset by the news Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disck are splitting (there goes my belief in love). The main thing that’s happened recently is president Jo came and visited me in my home. Somehow between the 5 cups of tea I drank, the 3 dogs we were cuddling, and Jo not complimenting my new t shirt, we actually managed to make a lot of LGBT association decisions! I won’t reveal too much just yet, but we have two of our big campaigns decided and we have A LOT of events which we’ve started to plan. This includes many events based around national LGBT themed days such as bisexual awareness day, anti-bullying week and  we have started planning discussing our plan for trans* day of remembrance. Details are being kept secret for the moment, but if you want to be involved with any of the mentioned days, the running of campaigns or know any events you think we should do or days we should celebrate, feel free to contact us. AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH, Jo (whos a complete boss!) managed to update our mailing list sign up, if you want to be on the mailing list, you just have to go here and fill out the form  (look at how perfectly blue it is!)

Jo and 2 of the dogs. Dogs make us so much more productive
Jo and 2 of the dogs. Dogs make us so much more productive

11709320_1005660152801601_5275776872638648037_n11694996_1005660122801604_3754171182878425966_n There have also been some questions about the LGBTa’s name. LGBTa is an acronym for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans* association, which is why the “a” is a little a. Recently it has been suggested we should change the name to try and be more inclusive. This is a little bit of a fiddle as any name change must be passed through assemble. Saying that, we want our service users to be happy! And the fiddlyness of changing the name won’t stop us from doing what is in the best interest of the LGBT community. If you think the name should change, this is what you need to do. Write a motion to change the name, send it to the LGBTa email ( and we will discuss/vote on it at the next AGM (there should be one next term). The association is happy to answer any questions you have about motions and help where ever we can. Remember, we are here for you and if you’re unhappy just tell us 🙂 Final thing, if you want anything advertised in this blog, or by us at all! Email me. I have my own special email ( and it goes straight through to my phone! So I will see it the day you send it as I am glued to my phone! This can be an event, or an article you have written or anything! Any questions email me, or snap chat me (I LOVE GETTING SNAP CHATS! It is one of the highlights of my day). Big hugs to everyone! Steven p.s. I have finally done my exec bio, so check it out P.S.S. Thanks to Alexandra for showing me how the website works….I was very confused and a bit scared. P.S.S.S We’ve started getting messages from next years freshers! We are see excited to meet them and make new friends (who will probably make me feel old). LOOKING FORWARD TO MEETING YOU GUYS!

Perfectly Blue

Hey guys! Steven here again with more updates from the LGBTa! Did you think that just because it is summer we wouldn’t be up to much? Well you’re wrong! We’re up to the top of our heads in stuff we’re doing!

Most of the updates that have happened recently have been to do with the interwebs and social media. For example, Jo has been working hard at our website and making some fantastic updates. Not only is it now the very best shade of blue (“#4aacdc”, far better than the shambles that is #4aacdd), we are also adding a section on the website for the college LGBT representative. For those who don’t know, each college has an LGBT representative (usually on welfare committee), some colleges even have two or three (cough, Hatfield, cough)! Their role is to make sure the college is acting in the interest of the LGBT committee and to communicate the activities of the college to the association and the activities of the association to the college. So now if you need to talk to someone in your college about an LGBT matter, and don’t know who to talk to, pop on to our perfectly blue website and find your rep! You can also find a brief bio for all of our exec members (apart from me, I haven’t written mine #badexecmembersteven). You’ll also find all of the various representative and non-exec officers who make up the association.

In addition to this, we have now launched our Instagram account and our snapchat account! The username for both is DurhamLGBTa. Both are currently operated by me, meaning not only will they be used to send LGBT updates, but also the occasional picture of my puppy! While the launch has been very successful, there seems to have been a tiny bit of confusion about the purpose of the snapchat. I want it to be a new bridge of communication between the association and our service users. In essence, you can snap chat us. Some people weren’t certain whether they could send snapchats to us, yes you can! In fact I love receiving snap chats. This is me trying to play it cool while asking people to please snap chat me, I really like receiving snapchats.

This is my puppy. Following the LGBTa snap chat account is the only way to see her...without visiting my house
This is my puppy. Following the LGBTa snap chat account is the only way to see her

Also I can’t finish the blog without talking about some world general LGBT stuff. London Pride happened! I couldn’t go, but some of our association members where there. It looked great!! Also the legalising of same sex marriage across the entirety of America. THAT’S A HUGE AMOUNT OF SPACE! A HUGE AMOUNT OF SPACE SAME SEX COUPLES CAN NOW GET MARRIED IN! I’m as excited as I am single, and I’m very single. However even though both of these things are great, and I am loving the amount of rainbow on my Facebook, we shouldn’t let this positivity obscure our vision. In particular with regards to less positive events recently, such as the recent incident at Instanbul Pride. While we celebrate the progress and the achievements being made for our community, we must also remember there are still exceptionally brave people fighting across the world. Our thoughts are with these brave people.

I’m going to leave this video here, because it made me cry and I’m spreading the feels.

Stay awesome!


Long Live The Exec

Hey everyone!!

I’m Steven. For those who don’t me, I’m an avid Taylor Swift fan, a lot less cool than I think I am, and I am your new Media and Publicity officer. I’ve started this blog so that you wonderful people can see what the Exec are doing on a regular basis. Frankly, we live very exciting lives and do a lot of very exciting things and I’m going to tell you what they are! So what can you expect from this blog? Primarily you can expect subpar jokes and not very witty puns. Though there will also be information about upcoming campaigns/events/shinanigans of the association in additions to ways in which you can get involved with the association!

This is me. Now you've seen me, we're best friends.
This is me. Now you’ve seen me, we’re best friends.

The end of term was super busy for us Exec. As many of you know, we had our wonderful LGBT Summer Boat Party. Despite the DJ’s decision to play Celine Dion’s song “my heart will go on”, the boat did not do a titanic, it stayed afloat and we managed to party without any awkward sinking. The only downer was that, despite all the effort (and hours) that went into my sassy Scar costume, I was constantly accused of being a wolf. No amount of flaunting my blatantly feline tail seemed to convince anyone I was a lion, not a wolf. Also as a community, the LGBT community proved itself as incredibly adept at making costumes. I was put to shame by many of our service user’s costumes, especially by a particularly sassy Mary Poppins and fabulous Princess Fiona, both of which one prizes. This night also included the executive committee handover. Despite my numerous threats to Thom, I did not start a fight with the other Scar as soon as my term on welfare ended, and as a result, the handover went smoothly. The most notable handover was Joanna’s ascension to LGBT president. This night also marked Harriet and Molly’s introduction to exec, the return of Alexandria and myself into shiny new roles and the return of Will, Kieran and Maria into the same role. Unfortunately it’s not all fun, it also marks the departure of ex-president Thom, ex-secretary Daniel and ex-social secretary Wilson.

Me and New President Joanna on the boat party

Something else that’s new (and really cool) that is happening in tangent to me writing this blog is our website getting a snazzy new make-over. I’m flittering between looking at it and writing this. Joanna has done a great job updating the website and it’s just like America’s Next Top Model, Joanna is Tyra and is giving the aspiring model (or website) a fab new look. The make over’s not complete yet, and I will be lending my help soon. Once it’s done I’ll update everyone and you should all check it out. Spoilers, the information is much easier to get, and there’s a lot of blue. Another exciting internet based development, we’re getting an LGBTa Instagram account soon! Hopefully that won’t take too long to get, so be hyped, we will let you know when it’s up #therewillbefilters.

I am very excited for next year. I am literally messaging Prez Joanna as I write this and am discussing plans for next year. So watch this space! And if there’s anything you would like to be included in the next entry, if you have any questions or if you would like to get involved, message the LGBTa page. You can just also just message to say hi, we like it when people message us.

Stay wonderful,


P.S. I just want to say thanks to the non-returning exec, Daniel, Wilson and Thom. It has been wonderful working with all of you, and you have been incredible executive members. I’m sure I speak for all of the new exec when I say we will miss working with you.