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Freedom To Fall In Love

Dakshayani Sharma and Huiyun Zhang share how the University of Reading brought them together, from their very distinct cultures and countries, so they could fall in love. 

Dakshayani and Huiyun met at the University of Reading on New Year’s Eve 2022, during their studies. Dakshayani studied for a Master’s in Food Science, while Huiyun studied an undergraduate degree in Law, with them both graduating in 2023.

Dakshayani described how they met: “During my time at the University I was part of the LGBT+ Society and I met some amazing people there. Huiyun was a friend of one of my friends whom I had met in the society.

“We met each other at a New Year’s Eve party and we both started developing feelings for each other. However, we didn’t tell one another because we were unsure of each other’s sexuality and whether our feelings would be reciprocated.

“So we became friends and started seeing each other more and more often. Eventually our mutual feelings grew and we told each other how we felt, and we became partners.”

Huiyun shared: “At the beginning of our relationship we spent most of our time on the University campus, meeting each other between breaks or after finishing classes. We enjoyed studying together at the library, walking in the Harris Gardens, or around the University’s lake. Our first date was in London to visit Tower Bridge.”

Dakshayani added: “I had always dreamed of going to Tower Bridge with my future love and I was thrilled to make this wish come true with Huiyun. Now, we have been together for over a year and still live in Reading. We are both looking for work in the UK to secure a more stable future together, given that life as a gay person in our home countries can be quite difficult. I am from India and Huiyun is from China.

“Growing up in a small town in northern India I didn’t have much exposure to LGBTQIA+ issues. However, coming to the UK has been a huge comfort for me as a gay person. Huiyun and I felt really comfortable starting our relationship here because we are never judged for our sexuality and we are treated just like any other couple.”

Huiyun said:

“We are both thankful to the University of Reading, and to the LGBT+ Society, for giving us the loves of our lives and being the medium to bring two people from distinct cultures and countries together so they can fall in love.”

Hear Dakshayani and Huiyun’s love story from the couple themselves:

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