This article was submitted by Tayla-ann Corocher, a PhD student in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences.
In line with Pride Week, I would like to, as a trans-identifying postgraduate student, reach out to my fellow queers in the university.
Firstly, for those of you who have had it hard, I want you to know that no one will understand the difficulties you have gone through to get where you are, but that doesn’t matter, you need to understand exactly how far you have come.
Spoiler alert! Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters.
No matter how many times your gender gets misidentified, or you feel like the black sheep in your department, remember that there are other people like you. People that understand where you come from, and how amazing it is that you have gotten so far.
Don’t let other people’s perspective of your life affect the way you see the university around you, this identity doesn’t make you any less than your fellows, and it doesn’t make you any more than them either.
If you feel like someone is discriminating against you because of something that in no-way-what-so-ever affects them or their life, make sure you come forward.
If you stay silent, they will think it’s okay to act that way.
Be sure to remember that there are councilors at the university (Hunter Hub on Level 2 of the Student Services Building), where someone can listen to your issues or concerns – and I hope that you make friends that are accepting and try to cheer you up when you are in the pits.
There is even an online service that we all have access to! Wear that rainbow flag, use tape to show your pride on your pipettes, be proud and loud and be sure to believe in yourself! We are all in this together.
This is my letter to you, to make sure you know that you are not alone, and if you made it all the way to this level of academia then I am sure you have put up with a lot on the way.
And just remember: pipette, cry, repeat.
Pride Week will be celebrated at the University of Newcastle from September 12-14.
Postgraduate students who have issues related to their sexuality or gender identity and require confidential, social support or referral are welcome to contact Barrie, NUPSA’s LGBTQI Representative via e-mail at Barrie.Shannon@uon.edu.au.
NUPSA also encourages students to reach out to the Student Counselling Services (Hunter Hub on Level 2 of the Student Services Building) if they are looking for confidential support and advice.