Lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ) students may arrive on campus unsure about their sexual identity, others may be well connected to resources and community. In either case LGBQ students can experience welcoming to uninformed to unreceptive environments in their departments, the libraries, the labs or in residence. On this page you will find resources specifically for LGBQ and questioning students, connections to communities that support sexual diversity, and how to be ally on campus. Your active and visible support can make a difference to all students.
As an LGBQ student you may face a variety of concerns, including worries about coming out, or reconciling your sexuality and sexual practices with your identity and/or gender. UBC provides students with opportunities and resources to help you learn about and explore your sexuality.
“Coming out” is a process of questioning, discovering, accepting, and affirming your sexual identity or wherever you identify yourself on the sexual orientation spectrum.
Coming out to yourself or to others can be a challenging experience. You may be questioning whether to come out, or you may be experiencing difficulties as a result of coming out to yourself or others.
Make sure you recognize when you’re having difficulty coping, and consider seeking professional help. UBC offers confidential counselling services for UBC students.
“Some of the most powerful expectations are about who we are supposed to be attracted to…”
The following online resources can help you through the process of coming out.
- Human rights campaign: resource guide to coming out
Guide to help you through the coming out process in realistic and practical terms
- 6 Harmful Myths about Coming Out.
This resource provides lots of information that breaks down the mainstream coming-out narrative.
LGBTQ students in residence
For many new students, living in residence is where the journey begins. Living in residence makes it easy for students to meet new people, live in a study oriented atmosphere, get help for academic and personal challenges, and be a part of all that UBC and its surrounding neighbourhoods have to offer. If you are applying to or currently living in residence and have questions or concerns in regards to your living situation, please contact the Manager at Residence Admissions and Assignments within UBC Student Housing and Community Services.
Discrimination and harassment
UBC is committed to creating and fostering a learning environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and harassment.
Services are available to assist you if you experience discrimination or harassment, and to take action if necessary. Learn more about how to respond if you experience discrimination or harassment.
- Policy 3: Discrimination and Harassment
The University of British Columbia has responsibility for and is committed to providing its students, staff and faculty with an environment dedicated to excellence, equity and mutual respect. This policy was put in place to prevent Discrimination and Harassment on grounds protected by the B.C. Human Rights Code, and to provide procedures for handling complaints, remedying situations, and imposing discipline when such Discrimination or Harassment does occur.
- UBC’s Respectful Environment Statement for Students, Staff and Faculty
This statement outlines the expectations of everyone at UBC to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds these principles in all communications and interactions with fellow UBC community members and the public in all University-related settings.
Find support and advocacy
Meet people and have fun
Be a LGBQ Ally
Your active and visible support can make a difference in a range of university environments. An ally for the sexual diversity community takes action. Allies work towards recognizing their own biases and privileges, offer support by working with individuals or groups that are teased, ridiculed, treated disrespectfully in and out of the classroom, bullied, and/or discriminated against based on their sexuality.
Make a commitment to:
Assume that your friends, classmates, colleagues and professors aren’t straight.
Speak up and address homophobic innuendo, comments and jokes. Let your friends, colleagues and classmates know that you find those kinds of comments hurtful and offensive.
Be visible in your support. Ask which pronoun a person would prefer.
Be mindful of people’s safety. Don’t out someone.
Reflect upon your own assumptions about sexuality stereotypes, intersections of race, class and other intersecting identities of LGBTTQIA+ students, staff and faculty.
Treat people with dignity and respect regardless of their sexuality, sexual identities or attractions.
Use gender inclusive terms, say ‘Hi everyone’ instead of ‘Hi ladies.’
Respectfully ask if you don't know what pronouns to use.
Respect the diversity of LGBTTQIA+ lives. These identities are part of other intersecting identities, for example, with their race, class, and/or religion.
Participate in Positive Space. Be an active Ally.
Need more information?
Contact the Equity & Inclusion Office.
Make a positive change
Your active and visible support can make a difference in the lives of LGBQ students. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to take part in the following programs that help assist our campus in being a welcoming, respectful working, learning and living environment for all.
The Positive Space Campaign
The Positive Space Campaign aims to make UBC more receptive to and welcoming of its LGBTTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) student, staff, faculty and alumni communities on campus. Join the Positive Space community and get involved.
Be An Equity Ambassador
The Equity Ambassadors are a diverse group of students, who promote awareness of social justice issues that empower and educate student to engage diversity, respect and inclusion everywhere at UBC.
Equity Ambassadors are student leaders interested in personal, collaborative, and community engaged learning to gain greater self-knowledge and leadership competence towards sparking positive social and environmental change. Learn more.
OutWeek is an annual celebration of all things queer during the second week of February. The week-long celebration is marked by a host of interactive workshops, and social events. OutWeek is made visible with rainbow flags across campus. Check out the Pride Collective at UBC for information.