How university can bring sexual liberation


University can be a liberating experience for many young people, but for Kerry (not her real name) it was the chance for her to become truly comfortable with her sexuality. | Photo: CC Flickr

She had been hiding the fact she was a lesbian despite having had a girlfriend since the age of 16. It had taken her a year to tell her parents and she never told anyone at school.

“At school people get singled out. There is a ginger kid and a fat kid and I didn’t want to be the lesbian kid,” said Kerry.

The ‘anything goes’ attitude is much more prominent at university and Kerry was able to be more open. As a result her confidence grew. Despite this she still feels there is no harm in showing a little discretion.

“I don’t introduce myself as a lesbian, but if a friend asks I am honest with them and all they would need to do is look at my Facebook page anyway,” said Kerry.

Even now people can find the idea awkward, but Kerry feels that the best way to tackle this is to be open about her sexuality. Whilst playing for the Women’s Football team at Lincoln, which openly has lesbian members, she has experienced girls being put off joining the club.

She said: “Girls think that because you’re a lesbian you will look at them in the shower or try it on with them. The truth is when you are friends with someone there are certain barriers and you don’t especially want to see them naked or sleep with them”.

Growing up gay is not easy, but it has helped Kerry to realise that people can be very accepting even if they were shocked at first. Even her parents took the news badly, threatening to throw her out, but over time they have learned to live with the news.

With the introduction of civil partnerships for gay couples, homosexuality now has a place in society. This is a positive move in Kerry’s eyes as she hopes it will benefit other young gays like her.

Kerry said: “I was less than ten when I had my first crush on a female celebrity. I think it was Britney Spears, actually. I thought there was something wrong with me. I hope now it will be less confusing for people growing up with these feelings.”

However, Kerry knows people who have experimented but aren’t lesbians so her message is to make sure that you are positive before putting yourself through the stress of ‘coming out’.

3 Responses to How university can bring sexual liberation

  1. Peter Freeman says:

    I thought this story was very interesting, and has made me think twice about how I view gays and lesbians at university. However, I do feel that some homosexuals take it too far, and think just because they’re at uni, they can go crazy and make it extra obvious that they’re gay. This takes it too far. I don’t think gays should advertise their sexuality any more than hetero’s do.

  2. Jennifer J says:

    How is it advertising? And to be honest what’s wrong with making it obvious you’re gay, you probably make it obvious you’re straight? You probably don’t want a man chatting you up just as much as a homosexual person doesn’t want a person of the opposite sex chatting them up. How exactly do they ‘take it too far’? It sounds to me you’re a little scared of the gay community.

  3. Peter F says:

    “What’s wrong with making it obvious you’re gay?”

    I said making it extra obvious, like making a song and a dance of it. I have no problem with people admitting their sexuality, if you’re gay, fine, but why scream it from the rooftops, and conform to the generic stereotype. I have equally as much of a problem with girls acting extra ditsy, or men acting extra blokey just for attention. So you can come down off your soap box, and pop your handbag away. I wasn’t attacking anyone, just voicing my opinions. And yes, I’m petrified.