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Munroe Bergdorf awarded honorary doctorate

AWARD: Munroe Bergdorf (Photo credit: Munroe Bergdorf / Instagram)

MUNROE BERGDORF has been awarded an honourary doctorate from the University of Brighton for her contributions towards campaigning for transgender rights.

The model and activist took to social media to share the exciting news, alongside an image of herself in a cap and gown.

Bergdorf, who studied at the university from 2005-2008, said: “What an absolute dream to be awarded Doctor of Letters by Brighton University today - an honorary doctorate for my contributions campaigning for transgender rights.

“This is something that I NEVER thought would or could ever happen. Thank you to the @uniofbrighton faculty, but especially, thank you to my tutor Jess Moriarty who helped me to get through the darkest of times and begin to believe in myself whilst studying for my BA hons 2005-2008.

“Also thank you to all of today's graduates. That standing ovation meant the world! I'm on the train back to London trying to hold back tears, it's all starting to sink in…”

In her speech, which she shared with her 154,000 followers, Bergdorf discussed the troubles she faced whilst studying at university and the special place Brighton has in her heart.

“I was 19-years-old when I moved to Brighton to attend this university and I still to this day feel in many respects this is where I grew up,” she said. “Work since graduating has taken me all over the world but this is one of the most rewarding trips I've made, coming back to Brighton to accept this honorary doctorate that I never thought could or would happen.”

The 31-year-old told the audience that whilst studying english language alongside media communications, she was battling an eating disorder and severe depression. “I had so much sadness, anger and confusion inside me until I received an email from Jess Moriarty [her tutor] about why I hadn’t been attending my lectures. That was an email that most probably saved my life,” said Bergdorf.

The star dedicated her speech to Moriarty, who she says helped her develop skills, grow and communicate in a way that assists with her activism.

Many took to social media to praise Bergdorf’s honour. Artist Travis Alabanza said: “So so so proud and happy for you x,” while author and model Chidera Eggerue said: “The QUEEN’s speech, BABY!

Bergdorf has been a prominent voice in the UK, campaigning for transgender rights and visibility. She is the founder of the Goddess platform, which aims to amplify voices of womxn, trans, non-binary and intersex people and recently featured in The Independent’s Pride Power List.

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