Oriel College’s Junior and Middle Common Rooms held an LGBTQ+ Formal on Tuesday 16 January 2024. Before the event was a pre-dinner drinks reception featuring a speech by Dr Kate Nambiar.
Kate studied a bachelor’s degree in Medicine / Physiological Sciences at Oriel College over the three years to 1996. She has worked in various roles for the NHS since 1999, specialising in sexual health and gender identity.
In September 2022, Kate was appointed as the medical director at the Terrance Higgins Trust, the leading HIV and sexual health charity in the UK with a target to end new HIV cases by 2030.
She had previously founded Clinic-T, a sexual health and contraception service for transgender and non-binary persons based in Brighton, in partnership with the charity.
In her speech, Kate spoke about her experience of coming out as a transgender woman while an undergraduate student at Oxford in the 1990s.
She explained how finding a community was difficult because queer groups then excluded the transgender community.
Kate said at the end of her speech that she was heartened to see the significant progress of inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community at Oriel.
Anwyll Thomas, an undergraduate student studying Music and also the JCR’s LGBTQ+ Officer, had a leading role in organising the Formal.
“As a trans student, it was amazing to have a celebration of queer identities,” he said.
“What made it particularly special for me, was having Kate speak — it made me quite emotional to hear how far our community has come,” he added.
“I’m immensely proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, and I hope this event will elicit further acceptance in the college, and the university as a whole.”
Anwyll also expressed his thanks to the Provost for attending the formal, as well as the Development Office, Conferences team and catering staff for making the event possible.