'Put yourself out there': Cameron Trought

Rainbow student rises to challenges: Meet Cameron Trought

Cameron Trought
Queer student Cameron Trought has found University to be an accepting place.

The vicissitudes of student life have brought challenges, but, through them all, queer student Cameron Trought has found the University of Auckland to be an accepting place.

In fact, being part of the Rainbow community has helped with social connection, which was the first hurdle, when Cameron arrived directly from Orewa College and intent on becoming a doctor.

At first, the large campus felt isolating, but making an effort to talk to people in lectures helped, as did Queer Space and the visibility of LGBTQI Takatāpui+ staff was supportive in itself.

“You really have to put yourself out there and talk to people in lectures, especially in first year. It gets easier after that, when classes are smaller and people are more comfortable,” Cameron says.

“Definitely, having Queer Space gave me people to hang out with.”

Making connections through UniQ, which organises campus activities, and the fact AUSA queer rights officer Victoria Hawthorne was an old school friend helped, too.

The whole LGBTQI thing was a non-issue. Just generally, it didn’t feel uncomfortable coming out to someone who I didn’t know. It’s a thing and everyone’s just accepting.

Cameron Trought

When Cameron wasn’t accepted into medicine, he had to dig deep, but was able to find his direction in life, all over again.

Lecturers were happy to answer questions, which helped him review his career decision.

Cameron had kept his subjects varied, including nutrition, and found he enjoyed pharmacology, so could envisage a future there. So, he is due to graduate with a BSc in 2021.

Cameron won a summer research scholarhip with the Heart Research Institute in Sydney and, in 2021, will conduct honours research with the institute, which is affiliated with the University of Sydney.

"I’ll be researching a drug called colchicine and potential impacts on how it can decrease inflammation in arteries and prevent heart attacks," Cameron says.

This success is despite Covid-19 alert levels reducing his lab time in 2020.

To younger people considering University, Cameron has words of encouragement.

“Starting university is scary for everyone, but the University puts so much effort into Rainbow people, that most people would feel quite comfortable and it wouldn’t be much of an issue as other things.”

  • The Equity Office Te Ara Tautika facilitates the University’s Rainbow Network, and promotes forms of support for LGBTITakatāpui+ students, including for trans and gender-diverse students, support for gender transitioning, gender-neutral toilets, and faculty Rainbow groups and contacts, see www.equity.auckland.ac.nz/rainbow