Emma Elliott

Emma ElliottGrowing up

I was born in the old Norfolk and Norwich hospital in 1990, and grew up in Norwich. As a child and teen, I felt confused when my friends talked about their crushes and so on, and struggled to relate feeling anything comparable to what they described.

In the 90s and 00s, I knew little of the LGBTQ+ world, especially as internet access and availability was not what it is today. So I did not really begin to think about and start understanding the idea of orientations and gender identities in much detail until I went to university.

‘Gay’ was definitely a slur when I was growing up, and the kids my in school whispered that one of our teachers was ‘a lesbian’ – a term I wasn’t entirely sure on the meaning of, but knew from the way people used it that it was not a good thing.

Working at UEA

Working at UEA has been a positive experience as an LGBTQ+ person. Joining Staff Pride was one of the first things I did when I began working at UEA in 2017, and I am glad to say I have never personally experienced any homophobia or negative reaction to being a queer woman while working at UEA. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for some of my previous employments before coming here.

Now

I have flitted between the label ‘asexual’ and ‘lesbian’ for myself and have finally settled on calling myself a lesbian on the ace spectrum (at least for now…) but consider labels to be fluid and changeable.

I believe it’s ok for people to find that how they identify themselves has changed, or to feel that no one label fits, or can fully describe them. I would like to see the world become a more accepting place, where everyone can feel safe and confident to be the person they want to be, not have to worry how others will see or define them. 

Read about Staff Pride