Be respectful to those coming out, open minded to people as a whole

Staff Report

Wednesday marks National Coming Out Day, when people are generally encouraged to let others they care about know that they are a part of the LGBTQA+ community.

While it is important to be honest with ourselves, coming out is a personal decision that is different for everyone. Not everyone will come out at the same time, or in the same way. While some may be comfortable coming out on social media, others will only tell a few close family or friends. And even if someone does come out to everyone they know, they may not always feel comfortable having their sexuality be a topic of discussion very often. There is no “right way” to come out. It all depends on the person.

The reaction people get will not always be the same for everyone, either. Some parents may accept their children right away, while others, like the ones described in the article, may take some time to adjust to the news. Some people’s friends might be more accepting than others as well. Be respectful of your friends and family in the LGBTQA+ community. Make sure they are OK with it, and that you are not putting them in danger, before you tell someone else what their sexuality or gender identity is.

And if you yourself are debating whether to come out, make sure it is your decision and you are not making it based on what other people think is best. Only you know when the right time to come out is, and ultimately you are the one who knows themselves the best in general. As one student in Wednesday’s article said, people who have not come out are just as much a part of the LGBTQA+ community as anyone else. You do not have to ‘prove’ your identity to anyone to make it valid.

And as stated in the article, coming out is not a one-time occurrence. It will be a question dealt with for many as they navigate relationships with new people.

It would be great if, since this is 2017, people left bigoted and outdated ideas in the past, and knew that discriminatory actions based on people’s sexual orientation or gender identity are not OK.

However, the unfortunate truth is not everyone is. That is why those who do consider themselves allies of the LGBTQA+ community need to do the best they can to educate themselves to fight against discrimination against the community.

The Daily Eastern News encourages everyone who can to take part in activist training such as the one mentioned in Wednesday’s article, Activism 101. Taking the first step to advocate for a cause one is passionate about can be hard, and knowing there are people who can teach you how can help.

The Daily Eastern News can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].