‘Out, loud and proud’ students share coming out experiences

Regina Garcia Cano

Because they feel confident about whom they are, some members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community shared their coming out stories last night.

“I’m out, loud and proud,” PRIDE!Kent Vice President Max Harrington said.

The organization’s weekly meeting focused on its members’ coming out experiences as part of PRIDE!Kent’s activities leading up to National Coming Out Day on Sunday.

Freshman education major Kara Bindus said it is significant for gays and lesbians to share their experiences because some people may need the confidence of others to be able to come out to their friends and family.

Many of the organization’s members said explaining their sexual preference to their parents was a nerve-wracking experience. But they agreed in the end the outcome was positive.

“Envision yourself carrying a huge sack of bricks. When you come out, those bricks are gone,” Harrington said. “Now, you can smile and be yourself.”

Bindus said she believes it is difficult for parents of LGBT students to understand their children because they have certain dreams about them.

“They hope they’ll be grandparents,” she said.

Harrington said he was afraid of telling his parents because he thought he would not have their approval.

“They raised me to be the oldest kid, the role model for my sisters, and for some people, being gay isn’t really a role model,” Harrington said. “But being gay doesn’t make any difference. I’m still the big brother.”

Bindus said people who hesitate about sharing their sexual preference should be confident with themselves before saying it out loud.

“Know who you are because you don’t want to give people the wrong idea,” Bindus said. “Even if your family is not comfortable about it, turn to the gay community because they are really supportive.”

Harrington said he considers National Coming Out Day to be a day for personal reflection rather than celebration. He said this day is meant for members of the LGBT community and for all of those who have supported them.

Contact minority affairs reporter Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].