Observed annually on October 11, National Coming Out Day is a day to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, we invited middle and upper school students to share why coming out has been important in the development of their identities. Coming out takes a considerable amount of bravery, and we commend the young people in our community for sharing their full selves with us.
Abi W., she/her, 11th grade
Every day, I’m so grateful that I am part of a community where I can not only be safely out but supported as well. As a young, queer woman of color, it can get tiring hearing things like, “You’re still too young,” or “You’re just confused,” whenever I’m not aggressively heterosexual. When I hear about discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTQ+ folk, it scares me to think that I may have to choose between my sexuality and my future. By sharing my experience, I want to be a part of a queer movement building a more accepting and diverse world.
Brenna A. M., he/she/they/all, 9th grade
I wish being queer was a normal thing in our society. People don’t have to come out as straight or cisgendered, so why should I have to come out as gay or trans? In an ideal world, if one day I come home with a girlfriend, or my parents heard someone calling me by pronouns other than the ones they do, they wouldn’t bat an eye. Come out whatever way feels right to you. Be who you are and love who you love.
Char P., they/them, 11th grade
As a child, I disliked hearing people refer to me with feminine terms, but I assumed that I was a girl because I wasn't a boy. I could never imagine myself going on a date, but I thought I was straight because I wasn't gay. Currently, being out as aroace and nonbinary is incredibly important to me: I want to be seen for who I am. I want other people to know that there is more to the LGBTQIAP+ community than gay and binary trans.
Claire D., she/her, 12th grade
I am an out and proud bisexual/biromantic woman, and honestly my experience overall with coming out has been really good! For me, I was never really in the closet about my sexuality. Realizing I was bisexual was such a relief for me because it just explained so many things about the way I felt and I never felt a need to hide that. Being out has allowed me to express who I am and be fully accepted for that in a way that I didn’t know I needed.
Owen D., he/him, 8th grade
From the moment it happened, I knew coming out was the best decision I ever made. Something inside me just clicked and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was more myself than I could have possibly imagined. I found a whole new culture that I fit into, I made new friends, and I could finally just be me. Nothing changed, other than the fact that people knew I liked boys. That was it. It was me choosing to tell people who I was and it was amazing.
Terry D., they/them or vae/vaer (Pronounced like 'they' with a v), 9th grade
The first time I came out to someone, I was ten years old, and I emailed my mom from across the room to tell her I was gay. Four years later I’m proudly non-binary and polyamorous. As someone who never went through the struggle of privately questioning my identity, it’s been beyond moving to help my peers through the frustration, depression, and guilt that can come with being closeted. In honor of Coming Out Day, I cheer for every person who has come out—and I raise a silent fist for every person who one day will.