National Coming Out Day: My Story

By Kira Eng, 20 years old, editor

October 11, 2023

Did you know that October 11 is National Coming Out Day? A day to celebrate anyone who is LGBTQ+, it honors those who have already come out and those who decide if coming out is right for them. In honor of the day, I decided to reflect on my own coming out story.

A few years ago, my school held a back-to-school night that featured different school clubs, including the LGBTQ+ club/support group, a safe space where students can express themselves openly and talk about the various aspects of identifying as LGBTQ+ . Friends with whom I had already come out as bisexual encouraged me to sit at the table with them. Plus, I had just found out a few days before that October was LGBT History Month, an entire month dedicated to LGBTQ+ pride and history. This fact, combined with the support of my friends, allowed me to come out to more friends and family.

Coming from a relatively conservative family, the idea of ​​not being accepted or loved after coming out was scary, so I carefully considered who I would come out to and when. The family members I came out to were extremely supportive of me and my decision to come out. Although some didn’t really understand what bisexuality meant, they were eager to learn more. Knowing that my family supports and accepts me, regardless of my sexual orientation, allows me to feel more comfortable with them.

While I am grateful to have had such a positive coming out story, it is important for each person to consider their own situation when deciding what is the safest option for them. Coming out is your choice and whoever you decide to tell is your right.

In recognition of National Coming Out Day, here are some things to keep in mind.

Questioning your sexual orientation and/or gender identity is completely okay and completely normal. Identifying with a label or choosing not to label it is all about personal preference and comfort. With more experiences, we can develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, which can lead us to identify with different labels. Sexual orientation and gender identity exist on a spectrum and it is normal to question yourself even after coming out.

LGBTQ+ people come from different walks of life and have different resources available to each of us. Sometimes it’s not the right time because it may not be safe or comfortable to come out. You shouldn’t feel pressured to come out. It’s okay to go at your own pace. Deciding when, where and who you want to talk to is completely up to you.

National Coming Out Day is also about celebrating everyone’s unique coming out stories! It’s an opportunity to feel proud of who you are, supported by those around you, and connected to other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

It takes courage to decide what is right for you, whether it’s coming out or choosing not to. It may be a difficult decision, but whatever you decide, you are not alone.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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