PRIDE!Kent plans events for Coming Out Week

Bryan Wroten

National Coming Out Day is more than just a day for people to come out of the closet, according members of PRIDE!Kent – it’s about increasing understanding of sexual identity.

Starting with a march on Washington, D.C., Oct. 11, 1987, this national day is for members of the LGBT community to be open and honest about themselves, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Web site.

PRIDE!Kent did not celebrate National Coming Out Day yesterday because of Coming Out Week next week, PRIDE!Kent president Christopher Taylor said. He said the executive board decided unanimously to hold the celebration next week because other universities in Ohio are celebrating this week and wanted to let people from outside the area have a chance to come to Kent’s activities.

Liz Talaba, sophomore theater design and technology major, said the day is a good way to promote understanding of the LGBT community. She said it will help others “know why people are the way they are.”

Ashlei Trimm, sophomore education major, said the day helps “newbies” and those thinking of coming out to talk to each other. She said it also helps her reflect on her own coming-out story.

“I was just tired of lying to my friends and family and putting up a straight facade,” she said.

She said she came out to her parents after getting into an argument with her father. She said she told him she liked girls to shock him and make him leave her alone. She said he told her mother and stepfather. They don’t talk about it, but it’s not a problem, she said.

Another difficulty Trimm said she faces is dealing with her gender identity.

She said it’s hard “having a physical body that does not match my mental male outlook. I’m struggling with it at the moment, but I’m dealing.”

Freshman biology major Ally Oulton said the day is a good way of honoring people who are being honest with themselves.

“It encourages people to be who they are,” she said.

Contact religion and minority affairs reporter Bryan Wroten at [email protected].