Don't bother replying, this is the internet and I can't hear you. I'm Daniel Bregman, the JCR's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Questioning Representative, and my job is to look after the interests of the LGBTQ people in college. Broadly speaking that means two things: welfarey stuff and social stuff.
Merton is lucky enough to have an amazing welfare system which is (honestly) the envy of othe colleges. At the top are people like the Chaplain, the College Nurse and Welfare Dean, who you can read about on other pages. At the JCR level are your esteemed Male and Female Welfare Reps and their committee of Peer Supporters, including me. We're here for you to go to if you're having any problems, stress, issues, drama or just if you fancy a chat, and we will keep anything you say in complete confidence. Don't feel limited by our 'job descriptions'; I'm happy to talk about anything, not just what relates to gender identity or sexuality, and conversely if you'd rather talk to some other peer supporter about LGBTQ stuff feel free (in particular Emma Moyse, who was LGBTQ Rep last year). I can also keep you discreetly supplied with condoms, lube and any other sexual health provisions you might need.
As a medium-to-small college, it can sometimes be hard to muster up many LGBTQ people or find any to hang out with. So on the other side of my role I'll be running LGBTQ events throughout the year within Merton or with a few other colleges. Over the last year there've been successful LGBTQ Teas (more cake than you can shake a stick at in the JCR) and pizza outings (some pizza, that you could shake a stick at if you wanted, in a restaurant); let me know if you have ideas/requests for other events, or particular colleges you want us to team up with. Non-LGBTQ people are welcome at all such events too, of course. Keep a look out for emails.
Crazy as it sounds, Oxford is not in fact limited to what Merton has to offer. First and foremost in this direction is the LGBTQSoc, the university-wide LGBTQ society. They run events ranging from interesting talks and careers events through weekly brunches to the ever-popular cheap drinks on Tuesday (sometimes Wednesday now) nights. Visit their website (oulgbtsoc.org.uk) to sign up to their newsletter and see what's on. LGBTQSoc has three welfare officers who can also be contacted in confidence. OUSU has an LGBTQ campaign which is the more politically-active side of Oxford LGBTQ life. Oxford Pride parade happens at the end of Trinity, for a rare glimpse at an LGBTQ event not dominated by students. I'll be doing my best to make participating in university-wide LGBTQ stuff less daunting, but if you're interested in an event and don't want to go alone let me know and I'll try to find someone to go with you.
Oxford is a fairly awesome place to be LGBTQ. College and the University are hugely tolerant places (and if you encounter any problems please let me know in confidence), as is the wider city (if you do encounter homophobia in the city, let OxHALT and myself know as soon as possible). In terms of going out, Oxford's most popular LGBTQ club night is Poptarts at Babylove on Tuesday evenings, conveniently round the corner (within stumbling distance?) from Merton. Plush, on Park End Street, is LGBTQ several nights a week. For a quieter time there are the Jolly Farmers and Castle Tavern pubs, both on Paradise Street. It's a cliché, but university really is a great time to embrace freedom and discover your identity, and I hope you have a great time here.