Coming Out Day is an international date set up as a good time for members of the LGBTQ community to “come out” as their respective identities.
It happens every year on Oct. 11, which was this past Sunday this year.
While the focus of this day is for the LGBTQ community, the focus of this article is for those who they come out to.
There are a lot of things that family members, friends, professors, counselors, allies, and so on, can do to show support and be comforting during this time in which LGBTQ peers are coming out.
Do not push for more information. Let them tell you when they are ready to tell you and the rest will come in due time.
Instead, offer your ear for whatever they are prepared to get off their chest.
Let them know you still love them and nothing has changed or will change.
The reason an LGBTQ member will come out to you, is because they love you and want you to reciprocate that care.
Do not come out as “an ally.” Coming Out Day is a day celebrated for them. Do not take that away.
This is for them to feel accepted, not to have the spotlight cast on others for accepting them.
Straight people have no societal pressure placed on them to come out over their sexuality. So do not take away what little support and attention is given to your counterparts.
Lastly, and most importantly, never, ever, out someone without his or her permission. Sometimes the process is slow and someone only wants to come out to certain people at a time.
Sometimes, LGBTQ members fear being excluded, fired or having their lives threatened over being queer because of cases where that actually happens and they have no desire to be outed.
For the LGBTQ members, do not feel pressured to come out.
Like it was previously stated, everyone has a different pace and some people do not feel the need to disclose that information at all.
Whether you come out or not, there are places on campus like the Campus Wellness Center, the Student Counseling Center and groups of amazing students here to support you.