SAGE celebrates National Coming Out Day
Jeff Lamson – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Students told their story and celebrated their identity on National Coming Out Day hosted by the Sexual and Gender Equality Center in the center itself and in the women’s studies office.
NCOD is a day celebrating LGBT+ community members coming out about their identities and gives them the opportunity to do so. The students could have their picture taken with a Poloroid style camera under the flag of their choice with their own 10 word coming out story written on a poster.
“For here,” said Kiara Wells, “it’s letting people have the day to express themselves in the brightest way possible.”
Wells, a junior communication, media and screen studies major, said that coming out can be a difficult process that is life long. She said the SAGE Center is meant to be a place where students can go and learn about their sexual and gender identity. Celebrating
this day is a part of that goal, Wells said, but the activities themselves at SAGE events are meant to be fun and to show what the other side of an office can be.
Most of the 10 word story posters that students made said things about being proud and loving themselves.
“Gay af,” read Rose Richi’s. “I have never been more proud of who I am, than I am now.”
Richi, a graduate public health student, said that she had never actually come out and announced her sexuality to anyone, but was dating a woman and approached this with a, “deal with it,” perspective.
Rich said days like NCOD are about building a community and support system for LGBT+ people who may need or just want it. She said that they may see other people coming out and not feel alone so that they might be able to come out for themselves. This support can be important because not everyone has a family that is accepting of their identity, she said.
Last Thursday was Richi’s first time at the center and she said that she felt NCOD was good opportunity, “to use this wonderful resource.”
“I guess the ability to come here is important to me,” Richi said, “because I haven’t always felt at peace at a place.”
Richi said she decided to keep her photo because she is proud of it and wanted to display it at her house and that it was too cute to not keep for herself.
Marcus Tart, a graduate marriage and family therapy student, did not keep his photo. He said that this was because he did not feel the need to, however liked the idea of being a part of the collage with other people who came to NCOD at the SAGE Center.
His poster said that coming out was the beginning of him loving himself fully. He also said that coming out was a process and that people are always coming out.
“You’re always going to be coming out to different people in new stages of your life as you understand your own sexuality and gender identity,” Tart said
He said he thought it was weird that there is a dedicated day to come out, he said, because someone can do so whenever they feel comfortable.
“Just because there’s a day for it, don’t feel pressured to stick to that day,” Tart said, “because coming out is your story, and do it in your time.”
Photo Credit: Jeff Lamson