UCL Play


Savitri Hensman | The Queer Tapestry

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Savitri Hensman

The Queer Tapestry

Savitri Hensman studied BSc Chemical Engineering (1979-82) and was one of the co-founders of London's Black Lesbian & Gay Centre in 1985. As part of the Queer Tapestry exhibition, she discusses being the only lesbian in Chemical Engineering department and coming to terms with her sexuality within the Christian church. 

Continue reading Savitri’s story here: Savitri Hensman | UCL Campaign

More on the exhibition: 
The Queer Tapestry aims to uncover the rich histories and voices of UCL’s LGBTQ+ community from the past 50 years and beyond. It shares the experiences of a range of former students and staff: from biographies of historical figures, such as celebrated professor (and poet) A. E. Housman, to personal contributions from alumni, including Slade alumna and artist Maggi Hambling.

Find out more about the exhibition and discover all the stories here: The Queer Tapestry Exhibition

Special thanks to the various alumni who contributed such wonderful stories and recollections.

Video guide:
0:08 – What was life like before UCL?
08:46 – What was the LGBT scene like in Hackney?
09:52 – What was it like coming out to your parents?
11:17 - What were your expectations about coming to UCL?
14:03 – What was it like being the only lesbian woman in Chemical Engineering?
17:40 – What was it like coming out in the Christian Union
22:39 – What was the LGBT scene like in London at the time?
26:09 – Describe how you came to be at the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre
31:00 – Describe your involvement in LGBT activism
38:47 – Tell us about Section 28 and the backlash against it by the LGBT community
42:43 – How have LGBT issues changed over the years?

The Queer Tapestry is an Out@UCL / LEAG production. Sandy Kutty and Bob Mills curated and collated the texts. The project is supported by UCL Culture, UCL Alumni Relations and UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Film production by Filmbright. Design by Aspel Creative.

The Queer Tapestry Exhibition
UCL Campaign
(February 2019)


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