Skip navigation


Kristofer talks about experiencing life at Northumbria as an LGBTQ+ student.

How did you come out?

 For me it was only last year that I came out; and I didn’t really come out to everyone- I told a few people and word caught on. I am in a relationship now and when that first started people started assuming something was going on and I was questioned by a few of my friends and that's when people started to know. I was nervous to tell my parents, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it because although I am not ashamed of being gay; straight people don’t have to ‘come out’ so I didn’t feel like it should be a huge spectacle, because why should it? I was putting off telling my parents but my boyfriend encouraged to tell my Mam via text to make it easier. I worked out well for me and her response was great she said she already knew! Most people have since told me that they already knew that I was gay, but in my head I was making the process of coming out into a huge thing which I didn’t want.  Realistically, when people found out nobody was particularly shocked. Now I look back and wish I had done it sooner!

What has life been like since coming out? 

It all is still quite new to me. In general, it has been a lot easier. Looking back, I was definitely in denial about my sexuality before coming out and surrounding myself around other LGBT* people in all aspects of my life really helped me to accept myself. I feel a lot more confident about myself and I really wish I had the confidence to do it a lot sooner. My friends and family treat me the same and are very supportive of me.

Have you had any odd reactions from friends/colleagues about being gay?

None. I have only had a few people surprised by the fact that I was gay but nothing negative. I'd hope that I would be strong minded enough not to care if any negativity about being gay was to come my way. I feel like nowadays in the UK people are a lot more accepting and everything is a lot more inclusive to the LGBT* community than it was even when I was a child. However, there is still a lot of work to do in many areas to gain equality and to allow everybody to feel comfortable enough to accept themselves.  

What advice would you give to other LGBT* people who may be facing difficulties?

Surround yourself with other LGBT* people who will understand the difficulties that your facing. Having someone to talk to will take the weight of your shoulders – if you don’t have anyone to turn to Northumbria has an amazing counselling team; the first few sessions are free too! By talking through your difficulties, it really helps gain a more clear frame of mind. I also am a strong believer that having a positive mental attitude really does help. There is nothing wrong with being part of the LGBT* community and there’s a lot of people out there to support you; and you’ve got to keep that in the back of your head whenever you’re facing difficulties. 

What’s it like being an LGBT* student at Northumbria University? 

Being a student at Northumbria both before and after coming out, I really haven’t felt any different. There is a lot of diversity in students and staff at Northumbria and a lot more LGBT* people around than you may think. There is a lot I didn’t know Northumbria has planned to make the university an even more inclusive environment for the LGBT* community. This month there will be events and speakers which I am definitely  interested in attending. Also, Northumbria is developing a platform which helps explain to LGBT* people their legal rights when travelling. I am particularly interested in this because something that people outside the LGBT* community don’t think about is the extra caution that we have to consider when travelling abroad. For example, whilst in Turkey last summer with my boyfriend we were denied entry into one of the main nightclubs as there was a sign stating “couples only”- although we were a couple, we weren’t allowed in. Having information about other countries viewpoints before you visit would be really useful in order to plan ahead.



Back to top