Posts Tagged ‘national coming out day’

Weight Off My Shoulder

October 12, 2012 By Shaun Osburn
Martha, EQCA Field Staffer, on National Coming Out Week

Martha, EQCA Field Staffer, on National Coming Out Week

In honor of National Coming Out Day this Thursday, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts from staff and volunteers about coming out.

My name is Martha, I’m 25 years old and am from San Diego. I came out 7 years ago today on National Coming Out Day. I had told my best friend at the time a couple weeks before Oct. 11th, but knew that I wanted to tell everyone specifically on Coming Out Day.

I am a pretty comical person and wanted my story to be comical too, I didn’t want it to feel like a life sentence and I definitely didn’t make it one. I called my friends and family and asked if they knew what day it was, some knew and some didn’t. I explained the day to them and asked them to put two and two together. I remember my mom specifically asking me why it was such a big deal and if I wanted a party or something. I did, it never happened. I never regret coming out and am glad every day since then that I have come out. Although coming out might be hard sometimes, it’s definitely was a weight off my shoulder.

Out And Never Going Back

October 11, 2012 By Shaun Osburn
Chris Riley, EQCA Field Director, on National Coming Out Week

Chris Riley, EQCA Field Director, on National Coming Out Week

In honor of National Coming Out Day this Thursday, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts from staff and volunteers about coming out.

I have been out for 20 years and I continue to come out; To my neighbors, the straight woman who cuts my hair, the barista at my local coffee shop who knows me by my drink of choice.

I grew up in Michigan where I could be fired because I am gay and I could be denied housing if I ever decided to move back. When I came out, I made the decision then and there not to go back in the closet. That even though my life would be challenging not having legal rights to employment or housing, let alone marriage, I would live my life authentically.

And now 20 years later, I’m in California where the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community enjoys so many rights and the nation is on the precipice of the freedom to marry. And yet there is so much more work to be done – for youth, our elders, the transgender community.

So I will continue to come out, even when it’s hard – to my neighbors, my landlady, and my new found friend on CalTrain.

Finding Strength

October 11, 2012 By Shaun Osburn
Tony Hoang, EQCA Operations Director, on National Coming Out Week

Tony Hoang, EQCA Operations Director, on National Coming Out Week

In honor of National Coming Out Day this Thursday, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts from staff and volunteers about coming out.

For nearly 18 years, I lied and hid who I was because I was afraid of what people would think about me.

I eventually found the strength to say the words “I’m gay” to my friends, and eventually, my family. A couple years later, I’m now “professionally gay.” Who would’ve ever thought?

Happy National Coming Out Day, y’all. And thanks to everyone that’s been supportive along the way!

Finding My Own Voice

October 11, 2012 By Kiki Poe
Kiki Poe, EQCA Administrative Manager, on National Coming Out Week

Kiki Poe, EQCA Administrative Manager, on National Coming Out Week

In honor of National Coming Out Day this Thursday, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts from staff and volunteers about coming out. This installment is from staffer Kiki Poe.

In 1999, I went to Wisconsin along with 5 other students from San Francisco State University as student representatives of their on-campus housing community. We were up for program of the year and the team of us was to do a presentation to the board who would be deciding the winner. Our program was National Coming Out Week and our presentation consisted of us explaining things like the Stonewall riots, Harvey Milk, the difference between transsexual and transgendered among other notable topics.

Each of us was expected to discuss a portion of the presentation and I had to talk about queer identity, of course. At the time I was VERY closeted but was very aware of my attraction to females, had been for years. My best friend was my roommate during the conference and the only straight person in our group. I was terrified she would figure out my secret so I tested my acting skills and pretended to be super straight and played the uncomfortable role all weekend. I thought if I seemed too comfortable around “them” she’d guess it was because I was one of “them”. As a Black female in a historically Black sorority, I just wasn’t ready to deal with it all.

There was a party the last night of the conference and I had this intense urge to talk to someone, to finally say out loud that I liked women. It was time. Perfect enough the organizer of National Coming Out Week at the SFSU campus was also on the trip so I sought her out and poured my guts out! I felt so relieved. It still took me a year to come out to my closest friends and family but I started feeling a little more comfortable after building some friendships with a few supportive lesbian women. They helped me feel more comfortable in my skin.

I’m now a strong activist for the LGBTQ community after 13 years of finding my own voice. Coming out isn’t easy and I respect everyone’s journey. Thank you for sharing mine!

Coming Into Safe Spaces for Coming Out

October 9, 2012 By Kiki Poe
Ricky Carter, EQCA intern, on National Coming Out Week

Ricky Carter, EQCA intern, for National Coming Out Week

In honor of National Coming Out Day this Thursday, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts from staff and volunteers about coming out. Our first one is from intern Ricky Carter.

I began my “coming out” process at the age of 13, although I don’t usually like to call it that. You see, I have a tendency to wear my identity on my sleeve ― I felt like it was unnecessary for me to come out, because I was kind of forced out by always being true to who I am. I always wanted to avoid the inevitable conversation with my dad; when we finally spoke about the pink elephant in the room, I was 18 and he had known for years. He took solace in this confirmation; I am very fortunate to have had a positive experience.

Luckily for me, I was brought up in a safe environment where being true to oneself was encouraged. When I got to the University of Florida, I immediately joined Pride Student Union, because I had an appetite to get involved in the movement ― attending a private Catholic high school will do that to you.

With a campus containing a population of over 50,000 students, the University of Florida, as a whole, seemed to me to be a pretty safe space. But, I had surrounded myself with like-minded individuals, and even though the campus is LGBT-inclusive, there will always be people who don’t believe in your very being. Read the rest of this entry »