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My fiancé supports my pansexuality by volunteering with me at pride

My fiancé supports my pansexuality by volunteering with me at pride

Hatti and her fiance Nathan at London Pride | Photo: National Student Pride

Being pansexual in the LGBTI community is not always easy because everyone presumes we are straight.

This is particularly difficult for me as I head up up an LGBTI organization. In my role as chair of National Student Pride, people expect me to be in a same-sex relationship.

So when people see me with my fiancé in our male-female relationship they often think: ‘she must be straight’ and even question ‘why is she running a pride event?’

But being a pansexual woman and in a relationship with a man will not stop me from having an active role in the LGBT+ community.

However, it has helped me focus in and begin to challenge the bi+ erasure I face. It’s something we’re talking about at the event this year. But that constant questioning can be difficult.

So I am extremely lucky my partner Nathan celebrates and supports my intersectionalities; it has such a positive effect on my happiness and mental wellbeing.

Last year he joined us in the London Parade march and often gets dragged into so much campaigning work that we do alongside our National Student Pride event.

But most importantly, he lovingly does it all with a smile on his face.

Hatti at one of many graduations throughout her many veterinary degrees | Photo: Instagram
Hatti at one of many graduations throughout her many veterinary degrees | Photo: Instagram

Coming to realize what my pansexuality meant for me

At 23 years old, I’m a third-year vet student. That means I’m mad enough to have already spent five and a half years at uni. But I also still have two and a half more to go.

I came out to my mom aged 15 by texting her in the middle of the night that we needed to talk. I have no shame in my proclivity for drama.

Luckily mom has always been supportive of me. So even though sometimes she doesn’t understand all my activism; she is always willing to listen and learn. Not everyone has the same experience as me.

When I started university in 2013, I joined the LGBT+ society. For LGBT+ history month, they arranged for a group of us to go to National Student Pride together.

It was the first time I had really been involved in a group solely for LGBT+ people and allies and I loved it. So when I saw the social media posts about wanting new team members, I just had to sign up – and I’ve been hooked ever since.

So... this just happened 😁 Luckiest and happiest girl in the world! Boy did soooooo good ☺️😍💍🐶 #engaged #happy #fiancé #lovehim | Photo: Instagram
So… this just happened 😁 Luckiest and happiest girl in the world! Boy did soooooo good ☺😍💍🐶 #engaged #happy #fiancé #lovehim | Photo: Instagram

Volunteering for National Student Pride

Three years into my volunteering I now know so much more about myself.

I know that I’m passionate, and fiery and driven. But, I also feel more confident in who I am as an individual and how I define myself. That’s in large part, thanks to the wealth of experiences that have developed me as an individual.

This year, I took my clothes off for a campaign about body confidence.

Last year I helped write 400 letters to MP’s to encourage them to change the way Sex and Relationships Education was delivered to young people. And they listened, the government announced compulsory Sex Education just weeks later.

I also helped organize panels around Mental Health. Something that sadly effects so many LGBT+ people – myself included.

But the event has also helped me learn about the spectrum of sexuality. Mine has definitely adapted from my first expression coming out at 15.

Co-chair of the pride organization Hatti Smart | Photo: National Student Pride
Co-chair of the pride organization Hatti Smart taking part in their body confidence shoot | Photo: National Student Pride

Going from identifying as a lesbian to pansexual

I’ve had relationships where I’ve defined as lesbian, for many years, relationships with men and people that don’t define as either, but “pansexual” is what I feel most fits how I feel inside.

I don’t see a person’s gender, I see personality and that is what I fall in love with. Student Pride has allowed me to explore that. And through my conversations with people who identify within the broad spectrum of sexuality, I have come to better understand myself.

It’s also allowed me to fall madly in love, with someone who supports me for my identity – exactly how I am.

My fiance is my biggest ally because he just accepts me as I am. But then on top of that, he supports me by attending and promoting our events.

He walked with the National Student Pride block in the London Pride parade. And this weekend he is even volunteering with us at our event. I’ve even persuaded him into a gorgeous pair of our famous pink skinny jeans!

Hatti and Nathan at London Pride | Photo: Instagram
Hatti and Nathan at London Pride | Photo: Instagram

Challenging bi+ erasure at pride together

But we challenge tha by being happy to talk about my sexuality together – and to others. He’s fully aware of my past relationships and we’re open with each other which helps.

Sure, people pull some funny faces pulled after we talking about someone we both find attractive while appearing as a couple together – but the fact he’s supportive of my drive for bi visibility is incredible.

Sitting down before I wrote this, I was thinking about my ‘favorite moment as a pansexual person.’

And frankly, it was easy to pick out. It was when we were in our wedding venue getting excited about how diverse our wedding attendees are going to be.

LGBT+ parties are the best kind and we can’t wait to be surrounded by so many supportive people.

Gay Star News are media sponsors of National Student Pride. This year GSN is hosting and live streaming a Bi+ panel on the Gay Star Students stage at the event with Clifford Chance and Deloitte. Get your tickets to the event now.

Read more about National Student Pride:

Courtney Act and Calum Scott to perform at National Student Pride

Students to focus on homeless LGBTI youth for 2018 pride event