In honor of this holiday, some thoughts on coming out from We Are the Youth participants:
“I was kind of scared to tell my dad. But he was like, “Whatever tricks your trigger. Just don’t be tricking it too early.” Then we’d be checking out girls at Wal-Mart.”—Audri, 15, Laurel, MS
“I just officially came out to my sister yesterday. On Twitter. My sister told my mom “Marina’s never actually come out to me. I know, or I think I know.” But it seemed to my mom like she wanted me to tell her. So last night I sent her a Twitter direct message being like, “Hey, mom said you wanted me to tell you this but you probably already know, so yeah…” She wrote “Haha. Thanks, I guess.”–Marina, 21, Atlanta, GA
“For a few weeks I wanted to go to the LGBT club at school. But I can’t. I can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t want to be out. I feel like if I come out, there will be stigma attached to me. Like, ‘Oh, there’s Chase. The guy that used to be a girl.’”—Chase, 19, Brooklyn, NY
“I definitely want to come out to my parents, but I want to wait until I get a better foothold and can support myself. I’ve mentally dealt with it and made peace with how it is with my parents. But sometimes it’s hard. My home life feels like it’s a lie.”—Dohyun, 19, Atlanta, GA
“In a way, I was pissed off to even have to come out. I think it’s stupid. Heterosexual people don’t have to come out as straight.”–Ana, 18, Blauvelt, NY
To share your thoughts on coming out, email email@example.com. We’ll post responses on this here blog.
In honor of National Coming Out Day, we’ll be sharing unique coming out stories all week. Ryan tells We Are the Youth how the Larry King Show aided in his coming out process:
When I came out as transgender, I came out very slowly. My brother was the first person I told, then I told my mom when I was 14. I told my dad when I did because he went away and brought back this really girly necklace for me. I just had to tell him that day because I felt guilty. I came out as trans to the world when I was on the Larry King Show. I was telling one person at a time at school and if I weren’t on the Larry King Show it would have taken years to come out. It’s easier just to be out. When you’re trans, it’s different. If I didn’t come out people would still be calling me “she,” or by my birth name and I’d be extremely uncomfortable. In some cases it’s not a good idea to come out, if your safety is in jeopardy. For me it was just a convenient time to come out
Check back next month for a full feature on Ryan!
Today is National Coming Out Day! National Coming Out Day was declared in 1988 in celebration of the Second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights which occurred one year earlier, in which 500,000 people marched on the capital. In honor of National Coming Out Day, We Are the Youth will be posting coming out interviews in a continuing effort to combat stigma, highlight the diversity of the LGBT community and give queer youth a space to share their stories.
The premise of National Coming Out Day is simple:
Political and social change towards freedom and equality comes from people speaking out about their support for freedom and equality, being proud of who they are, and putting names and faces to the LGBT community and the friends and allies who support that community.
Why? Because it’s harder to be a bigot or a homophobe or a bully when you know that some of your closest friends, family members, colleagues, and neighbors – and some of your favorite actors, artists, athletes, musicians, politicians, and cultural leaders, as well as many of the military servicemembers defending your country…are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. (Gayapolis News)
To share your story contact: firstname.lastname@example.org