Dana is 16 years old and is studying at St Alban’s. Dana decided to get involved with Student Life because she wants to share her experiences, knowledge and opinions.
Last month, October 11th, was National Coming Out Day. Many people use this time to come out for the first time and share stories about it and if you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you may be familiar with coming out or have already done so.
To be honest, coming out isn’t something we actually have to do. In a perfect, ideal world, our sexuality and gender shouldn’t be assumed. We should be allowed to love each other without fear and shame, and love ourselves and our nature. But our world isn’t perfect yet, with anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes prevalent in so many aspects of our lives, the act of coming out can be terrifying, but also an important one in many ways.
Coming out is a huge step for anyone, but also an extremely difficult milestone to reach. The most important thing to remember is that it has to be your decision based on your situation. Some people do it to be able to get it off their chest, embrace their identity freely and proudly instead of hiding under the cis-hetero labels society is accustomed to. It can help you find people who are truly allies that support you and give inspiration and courage to others in our community, and increase our representation in the public.
However, you might be worried about being rejected, or may be in an environment where it is dangerous to come out, but not outing yourself does not mean you are not valid. The people all around the world who have come out, stood out and up for all of us, and maybe one day we will win the fight for love.
Whether you decide to come out or stay inside the closet, remember it’s a small but significant step to self-love and peace which we can get to at our own pace through our own decisions.