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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Coming Out Monologues give LGBTQ+ Aggies space to share

Coming+Out+Monologues
Photo by By Chevall Pryce
Coming Out Monologues

The lights in the Rudder Forum dimmed as students of different majors and classifications gathered around the spotlight to tell stories of coming out and their life as LGBT individuals, with a mix of comedy and heartfelt confessions.
The annual Coming Out Monologues put the literal spotlight on students in the LGBT community to express their personal anecdotes of coming out to family and friends, as well as their experience on the Texas A&M campus. Andrew Roblyer, volunteer for the GLBT Resource Center and employee at the Health Science Center, helped organize the event as well as aid students participating by helping them create a monologue.
“We held a couple of workshops, one in the fall and one in the spring, to help people think through how they want to tell their story,” Roblyer said. “From there, they write and submit … I work partially on that and the performance aspect.
Chad Mandala, program coordinator for the GLBT Resource Center, participated in the monologues, telling the story of coming out to his mother and father as gay, comparing the experiences to a Lifetime movie. After coming out to his mother, who said she always knew, Mandala came out to his father with a punchline.
“So I’m driving with my father that night as we’re heading home from dinner … He was getting ready to alert me to his discontent with the driver in the other lane. He decides to signal this in the middle of us talking about me needing money for a new laptop. He says, ‘Would you look at this guy, he’s driving like a f—-t,’” Mandala said. “In either some moment of blacking out or random courage — I’m not really sure at this point — I said, ‘That’s weird. He drives nothing like me.’”
Miss Click, a student in drag, told the story of an interaction with her father, comparing the way they live their lives.
“What words could I use to let them know what the nails and makeup mean to me?” Miss Click said. “This Thanksgiving, my father couldn’t comprehend why I did my nails, why I manicure myself with acetates and pigments in order to feel like I live honestly … Building fences and grooming cattle wove him into the social fabric of the community that he serves. Wearing colors marked me as a part of the community to which I belong.”
Itzia Medrano, sociology freshman and member of the Corps of Cadets, told stories of feeling unwanted by her fellow Corps members for being a lesbian. Medrano said although there are good people in the Corps, she is tired of false representation of their accepting qualities and language she hears.
“Lately, the smaller things having been getting to me. Quite frankly, I’m a little pissed off. I am angry that people think they have a right to speak for God and tell me that he doesn’t love me because of who I choose to spend my time with,” Medrano said. “I am so sick of having to plan my love life around my social life in order to avoid offending anybody.”
Medrano told a story about the time she heard her fellow cadets using a slur to refer to gay people during an event concerning where future cadets would be staying on campus.
“So I’m sitting there and they’re briefing us … And they pass out a paper for us to sign with only two questions on it. One of them was ‘Do you feel comfortable hosting LGBT prospects?’” Medrano said. “The two cadets in front of me had the following conversation. One of them asks, ‘Did you actually circle yes?’ The other says, ‘Yeah and you?’ The cadet turns around and says, ‘Of course not, I don’t want some f-g in my bed.’”
Two monologues were read by students for participants who did not want to speak on stage.
“Sometimes we use monologues from years past, and the people who wrote them are no longer here,” Roblyer said. “We don’t want someone’s story to not get told just because they don’t want to speak in public.”
Robin Banks, university studies senior, said she feels the monologues are important for the A&M community to hear after viewing the event.
“It was very moving,” Banks said. “They really make you think about things. They really bring it to center stage. I think that what the second girl in the Corps said about all of the activities that go on in the Corps is very important.”
Roblyer ended the monologues by reading the names of transgender people of color killed during 2016 as well as the beginning of 2017. Roblyer said the stories of LGBT students, dead and alive, need to be told.
“There are millions of LGBTQ+ people out there with stories. Even more importantly, there are LGBTQ+ individuals who have stories to tell about other parts of their identity as well. Race, religion, socioeconomic, gender and other aspects of their identity cannot be separated,” Roblyer said. “If we are serious about listening to their stories, we need to be willing to listen to all of their stories. Otherwise, it ends up being a bunch of white men taking charge.

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