Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

Kat Smith , Staff Writer

In 1987, roughly twenty-five miles outside of Washington D.C., a closet door broke open as the march for the LGBTQ+ community began. Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary came up with the idea, a year later, to celebrate the anniversary of the march since it greatly benefited the community. From the march on Washington came not only organizations such as the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization and AT&T’s LGBTQ+ employee group, but also a day for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate what they had accomplished. Thus, national Coming Out Day was born.

 

LGBTQ+ is an abbreviation for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual/Two-spirited, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Ally community. In the community there are “umbrella” terms under which other identities fall. For example, polysexual. Polysexual means to be to be simply attracted to more than one gender. Bisexual is a term that falls under this umbrella that means to be attracted to two genders (the prefix bi meaning two). Pansexual is another term that is similar to bisexual and often gets disregarded because many people feel that the two are the same thing and that there are only two genders.  Pansexual means attraction to all genders (the prefix pan meaning all). Many people who are pansexual like to describe it as falling in love with the person rather than their gender. As the pan community would say, “Hearts before parts!”

 

I asked students at GCHS what National Coming Out Day meant to them and received some brilliant responses!

 

“To me, it expresses individual freedom. People can finally be who they are and be themselves! And for people who have already come out, it marks a day that they realized they were comfortable with who they are. This day is about being comfortable in your own skin,” said senior Morgan Cross.

 

National Coming Out Day can be a very joyous day for many people in the LGBTQ+ community, but it can also be very stressful. Sometimes a person may come out to a friend or two to start small. However, this can turn badly wrong if said friend accidentally outs the person to other peers or family members without permission. Outing someone without consent can result in them being kicked out of the house, disowned, or even sent away to get “help.” National Coming Out Day is a way to help tackle homophobia, even in the smallest bit, and to raise awareness that there is nothing wrong to be LGBTQ+.

 

“It’s a bit of a celebration type of deal because I came out about a year ago and three months ago to my parents, and while one was highly against it, the other was completely accepting and I finally get to be who I am,” exclaimed sophomore Baili Day-Davis, who is transgender. He is on his way to becoming a very happy and bright young man and always raising awareness and love for the community.

 

I also asked a GCHS alumni, T`ea Stellar, what coming out day meant to her as a trans woman and she said this:

 

“It’s a day of hope. For me, last year’s Coming Out Day was important, not because it was the last one before coming out, but because of how much more comfortable I am with myself, which has led to a massive increase in my self confidence. Last year, as a senior, I went to prom as a woman and before I never could have imagined that I would have done that, or that I’m preparing to begin my life as a woman. This day helped me come out, in a rather indirect way. It gave me hope that there were people out there who would support me and love me for who I really am.”

 

There is a rather famous poet named Andrea Gibson who is openly lesbian and writes many of her poems on this topic. She even says in one that the kids she’s teaching often ask if she is a boy or girl, or if she has a boyfriend or girlfriend. She always tells them that it really doesn’t matter what she is and the young ones just accept that. She asks the question, “if it’s so easy for kids to understand, why is it so hard for adults?”
On this national Coming Out Day it’s important to remember keeping yourself safe is a priority. Even though the LGBTQ+  has come a long way and now has legal rights, we are not treated equally, and unfortunately there are many hate crimes committed against those in the community. Hopefully one day the barrier that stands between the LGBTQ+ community and everyone else will be broken down and we will all just be people.