Earlier this month on October 11, many celebrated National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day is a day to celebrate members of the LGBTQ community coming out. People all around the country celebrated this day, including students at Western Michigan University. Three students from WMU described their experience with coming out and the positives and negatives that come along with it.
“To me, the hardest part of ‘coming out’ is the idea that it never really ends. You are always coming out to new people, in new settings, and you never really know how people will respond.”
Colin is an English major at Western Michigan University, and the co-president of OUTspoken at WMU. As such, Colin helps other students on campus feel as if they have a safe space to be themselves, make friends, and learn more about how to be comfortable in their own skin.
“I had figured out who I was in sophomore year in high school, but it took a year or so to really come to peace with it,” said Colin. “I came out first in my junior year, and I did it by blurting it out to two of my best friends at the time. They looked shocked, but it wasn’t because I was gay, but instead because I had chose to tell them in such a casual way.”
“Luckily I had a large portion of my friends and family who were very accepting. And telling them about who I was had little to no effect on our relationship. That being said, even when you think people will most likely be accepting, it never takes the fear of loosing someone away. Sadly, I have members of my own family that I do not trust with that information, and some co-workers as well.”
Overall though, Colin says the experience has been pretty painless, and wants to help others come out as well.