In honor of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, we asked some youth at SMYAL for their thoughts on the coming out process and the significance of holding an official day to celebrate it. The youth below shared some personal memories of their own coming out stories, as well as advice for others of any age involved in the life-long process of “coming out” to people in their lives:
National Coming Out Day is an amazing day, especially for LGBTQ youth who want to come out to their parents. It’s a good reminder to the youth that there are people who identify as LGBTQ all over the country coming out, just like them. It provides comfort and confidence.
Morgan, age 17, Washington, D.C.
The first person I came out to was my best friend in middle school. It was totally random, but the pressure had been building and I loved her and felt that she needed to know. I remember it so clearly. She’d been cooking eggs and I could hear the spatula stop shifting over the phone. She said, “So?” as if she didn’t care and I was elated. She still loved me. But then she started asking questions and I realized she was digging to see if I liked her. I did. After that conversation, the phone calls stopped, as did Facebook messages, texts, etc. I still love her. I just wish it was the same for her.
Cydney O. Brown, age 19, Howard University
My coming out story didn’t go as well as I thought it would when I told my parents. My mom thought me being gay was the worst thing that could ever happen and that if I was gay I couldn’t show it. So I say to all the people that haven’t come out yet just don’t be afraid to be who you are so when you express it, make a statement.
Corinthea Thompson, age 20
The first time I told someone I was gay I was in the 9th grade. At this time I was doing a four-day show of “Rent” the play. It was during our break, where I was hiding under the table with my teacher eating pizza that was only enough for the two of us and I felt like it was a good moment to tell her I was gay, and I did. She gave me the biggest hug that I have ever had in my life, and by this time I’ve probably had lots of hugs.
Cynthia, age 16, Washington, D.C.