Meet James Hatcher, recent illustration graduate. He was also secretary of the LGBT+ Society, which he describes as 'a second home' for LGBT+ students at Herts.
|Year of graduation||2021|
|Course of study||BA (Hons) Illustration|
Life at Herts
I feel like the LGBT+ society, in particular, is such an important society because of the message of love and acceptance that it creates, the family feel that is involved with being a member. For lots of people in the LGBT+ community, they do not have a safe place and support for them to just be their true selves. Our society gives people a sort of ‘second home’. Students also get to be around other people who are in similar situations and can share experiences with one another, making people feel less alone.
Some of my closest friends have been found via this society, and I am thankful for that. As well as this, I also enjoy the events and competitions that are run! Even though I have only been a part of this society since all of its events were moved online, it has been an enjoyable distraction from thinking about coursework as well as everything that is happening in the outside world.
What I'm most proud of
I’m proud to have been a part of this University, as cheesy as it may sound! I’m really proud that I attended a Uni that is so accepting of LGBT+ people, allowing me/us to talk about it openly and honestly and for us to be our true selves. A few years ago I wouldn't have believed this was possible. There were so many negative connotations, telling me that who I was, was something to be ashamed of.
I am now proud to say that I am a part of the LGBT+ community and I believe this University has helped me get to this point. I found the Society to be extremely helpful. I have met so many amazing people with such interesting experiences different to mine. Sharing personal stories has opened my eyes to new things, or subjects I would not have previously thought about. I think it’s important to widen your vision to different experiences to make yourself a more accepting and understanding individual.
What more can we do?
I feel that the Uni has done a relatively good job with its acceptance and inclusion of LGBT+ subjects. I would like to see the University promote the LGBT+ society around the campuses because I believe it is way more than just a society purely for enjoyment. I first discovered it via Instagram, but it was relatively difficult to find, so I think promoting it through posters etc. in the real world would help give awareness and also help normalise the subject of LGBT+ for both students and staff.