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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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Students weigh in on National Coming Out Day

Coming+Out+Day
Photo by Graphic by Sydney Farris
Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day occurs every year on Oct. 11 as a celebration of LGBT people “coming out of the closet.” 

The day was established on Oct. 11, 1987, at the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Telecommunication media studies senior Evan Bretos. He said coming out was a momentous occasion for himself and is important for a lot of young LGBT people.

“Coming out is incredibly important,” Bretos said. “I was not my best self or a happy person when I felt like I had something to hide. Imagine having a huge secret from the world and having to cover that up every single day. That sort of life puts a barrier between the person with the secret and everyone else. It genuinely hinders the development of relationships and friendships.”

Petroleum engineering junior Lucas DuChemin said being gay at Texas A&M is difficult, not because of harassment, but because of the loneliness that stems from A&M being one of the most conservative schools in the country. 

“People at A&M and people of our generation in general are open and even close to apathetic to sexual preference in my experience,” DuChemin said. “Friends and strangers alike may joke or playfully tease, but nothing malicious has been directed my way.  The hardships that come along are in the form of trying to find other LGBT individuals. It’s rare to even find gay guys, let alone ones that you could see yourself spending your life with.”

Hillary Gillin, telecommunication media studies senior, said as an LGBT ally she thinks National Coming Out Day should be celebrated.

“I don’t know if it will ever catch on widely but I personally think it should,” Gillin said. “National Coming Out Day represents a lot of people’s hard work to be recognized fully in the eyes of the law and I certainly commend them and celebrate it with them. This day represents a lot of life struggle for people and anyone who can be that open and honest with themselves deserves a day of celebration in my opinion.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, one out of every two Americans knows someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. Bretos said National Coming Out Day serves as a way to recognize these GLBT individuals and the movement for equality.

“I thought about being gay much more when I was not out than I do now,” Bretos said. “Given that I have now identified myself as LGBT to the public that no longer controls me. Now being gay is a small part of who I am and there are a million and one other things I would like people to know about me far beyond my sexual preferences.”

Bretos said coming out is a huge milestone for LGBT individuals that should be recognized. 

“Coming out is a necessary step to moving on from whatever fear or pain that has held an LGBT person back, and becoming themselves in full form — that is truly a gift.”

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