I’m Ash Noble and I’m the Equalities Officer at Canterbury College Students’ Union. I’ve identified as a transgender guy for around two years now.
When I first came to College, I used it as a fresh start and introduced myself as Ash. I found that everyone was really friendly and accepting of me.
When I spoke to staff at College about being recognised as transgender, they put me in touch with Wellbeing services, so I was able to have a safe space to discuss anything with them, which was very helpful and I felt very much supported.
They helped me change my name on the system so that whenever I am with a new tutor, they would know me as Ash, rather than my birth name.
This has helped me feel more like myself and allowed me to identify the way that feels right to me.
Being able to identify as male has had a really positive impact on other aspects of my life. I feel happier and more confident to take on my course and do well.
I decided that I wanted to use my positive experience as a way to reach out and help others that may be struggling with their own gender identification.
Getting involved in the Students’ Union (SU) as their Equalities Officer has meant that I can ensure that every student is being represented fairly and inclusively.
I can offer personal advice to students with the same experiences I have had. As the only transgender guy in the team, I can also offer a different perspective to activities that we run as part of the SU. I like to ensure that all events and social media posts are inclusive of everybody, no matter what they identify as.
For the past few weeks, I have been heavily involved in organising our Pride Canterbury event, which is taking place on Saturday 15th July 2019.
We have planned to take part in the march through the city of Canterbury, representing the Students’ Union, and run activities and a stall at the main event.
This is a really important day for me. An event like Pride Canterbury is a safe space for me, and others, to celebrate diversity and come together as one big family and meet new friends.
If you would like to find out more about how you can be a part of something big, visit the Students’ Union page or drop into the SU at any time.