Home » Living and studying in the UK » A warm welcome to the UK » Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender UK

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender UK

Rainbow flag at a Gay Pride event in London

The UK is generally a welcoming and friendly place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

In the UK it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation or sex, and many international LGBT students study in the UK on the understanding that their rights will be respected and that they can live life as they want.

Community and social life

UK schools, colleges and universities for students aged 18 and over often have LGBT societies where you can find friendship and support. They may also hold events and parties, such as club or film nights, visits to cafés or weekend excursions. Ask your school, college or university what they offer.

Off-campus, in large towns and cities across the UK you will find pubs and cafés that are gay and lesbian social hubs. London, Manchester and Brighton have particularly strong LGBT communities.

In smaller towns, ask your teachers or Student Welfare Officers if they know of any LGBT social groups in the area.

You can also visit LGBT lifestyle websites such as the Gay Times or Diva for the latest news and events.

Support

Although the UK is generally a very welcoming place for LGBT people, you may occasionally encounter some homophobic opinions or want to find some friendly advice.

In most regions of the UK you can find counselling services, support networks, sexual health clinics and advocacy services for LGBT people. Here are some examples of the support on offer.

  • At your school, college or university, there may be a member of staff dedicated to the welfare of LGBT students – talk to them.  If not, try your student welfare officer or any of your tutors if you need help.

  • The Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) is a registered charity supporting lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Visit the LGF website for advice on everything from coming out to staying safe and challenging homophobia. LGF also runs a helpline where you can talk to trained staff.

Related articles:

LGBT student life in the UK: Interview with an NUS officer

Campaigns, societies and support at your Students' Union

LGBT History Month: Celebrating the UK's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans movement

The UK's top LGBT events and festivals in 2016

Interview with LGBT charity Stonewall