Moving to University is hard enough, and being a member of the LGBT community can make it endlessly harder. So here’s the ultimate LGBT+ guide to Canterbury.
Where is most inclusive? What will the people be like? Can I hold hands in public? Will I be accepted? These are all valid questions to consider when moving to a new city.
But fear not, Canterbury is a safe space for members of the LGBT+ community, and this is my guide for you.
Canterbury now has a population of over 40,000 students, meaning there is more diversity and liberality you could shake a stick at. This creates more positive attitudes prevailing towards the LGBT community, hopefully giving a little more ease to all the freshers feeling worried about their move.
In my experience, this beautiful city is one of the most liberal I’ve ever been in, I’m yet to even experience a disconcerting look whilst I’m out with my boyfriend, as opposed to anything worse. I’m under no illusion the city is perfect, and as a member of this community, I’m sure we’re mostly aware that nowhere will ever be completely judgement free, but generally, you’ve chosen an amazing place to live in.
One of the most helpful things to do as a new student is to join societies and sports teams. Both Christchurch and Kent have LGBT societies, these are amazing opportunities to socialise with like-minded people.
Caelen McDonnell is the president of Christ Church’s LGBT society for the upcoming year, Caelen explained how the society are aiming to take more of a stance in tackling issues the community is facing, and making more of a difference. If you’re interested in joining, check out their Facebook page at “CCSU LGBT+ Society”.
Events and nightlife are one of the main things newcomers will be looking for over the next few years.
In Canterbury, the things to do for the LGBT community do not lack. The main LGBT nightlife event is Glitterbomb and It’s held every Tuesday night at Tokyo Tea Rooms. The night regularly pulls a huge crowd, and yes, it is full of LGBT members, not just another one of those gay nights dominated by straight people overwhelming the doors.
Stephen Sullivan, owner of Glitterbomb, says how the night is made unique by all those that work there, the special guests they host, and everyone who attends! Not only does Glitterbomb host huge drag names such as Aquaria and Miz Cracker (all upcoming events), they’re probably one of the only places who organise over 200 unicorns to be walking through the streets of Canterbury.
To check out more information on all events, have a look on the Glitterbomb Canterbury Facebook page. Alongside Glitterbomb, Canterbury also has its own gay bar open seven days a week called Limes. It’s a slightly more chilled option compared to a club night, but does offer a safe space to socialise, along with a pole for dancing on when you’ve had a few too many.
Without any doubt the biggest day of the year is Canterbury Pride. This year the event is on Saturday the 8th of June.
With over 16,000 attendants this year, our pride is the biggest in Kent, and has a prestigious reputation throughout the county. Performers in the past have included S Club and The AAA girls, among others.
Pride is certainly the highlight of Canterbury’s LGBT persona. Along with the pride event, Canterbury is constantly breaming with its own form of Pride.
So, whilst you have the opportunity to soak up the personality of a new city, make sure you cherish its tolerance in a place where you can truly be yourself.