Us by Dawn Thorley

Us by Dawn Thorley


(Studying for Doctorate in Educational, Child and Community Psychology)


The word ‘celebration’ brought to my mind an immediate burst of thoughts all centered around one key thing; my relationship.

When I first started at Exeter University in 2013, marriage between two women was illegal.  During that academic year, my partner and I, along with thousands of other gay couples in the UK, celebrated the change in the law which allowed us the same rights as straight people to get married.  Marriage, of course, represents a formal commitment and celebration of the love between two people.    This was, however, a time for celebrating another step on the journey towards equality and away from the identity of second-class citizens.

In my second year I proposed to my partner and she said yes! A cause for personal celebration.

At the end of this, my final year at Exeter University, we hope to marry and celebrate our love with our friends and family and begin our life together as a married couple.

Throughout my studies, my partner has provided me with support, comfort, encouragement and strength and her contribution to my efforts is another endeavour to be celebrated. My doctorate is our achievement.

This picture also represents the celebration of all the relationships that help us develop, grow and learn.

My doctorate has certainly pushed me outside my comfort zone and I couldn’t have done it without her support. 

This picture represents a celebration of achievement, support, change, progress and equality.

But most of all, our love.

Reproduced with kind permission of Dawn Thorley
Copyright ©Dawn Thorley