Coming Out

When you first start to realize that you are sexually attracted to someone of the same sex or your gender identity does not match with your biological sex, it can scare you into denying your true feelings. You may be able to suppress those feelings for a while, but eventually they will resurface. Once you begin to accept those natural feelings, it can feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders. There is no denying that you will be faced with some challenging situations to deal with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trangender. But once you develop the courage to honor your own experience of love and self-identification above anyone else's judgment, you can take the next step - coming out.

Coming out is a step-wise process but begins with being true to yourself about who you are and what you want. The next step usually is telling family, friends, and finally co-workers and acquaintances. Most people admit that they feel much better after coming out and usually the reactions they thought were going to be terrible end up being not so bad. Because our society has been filled with negative images of GLBT people, there are risks in coming out that must be acknowledged and accepted before actually doing it. Be smart and do your homework.

Getting the facts and finding supportive people to talk to is the best way to prepare for some of the issues you may face when you identify as a GLBTQA person.

View some of the online resources listed under the resources section of this website for anonymous access to valuable and credible information. Be careful about using the Internet and the sources you read online. Anyone can post information on the web whether or not it is true or backed up by references.

The Counseling Center on campus is a valuable resource for one-on-one psychological support at the university. Rebecca Diller is a licensed counselor employed by the university and is a supportive Faculty Ally. Be aware that sometimes appointments can be scheduled no earlier than one week in advance, but she does have flexibility to handle crises when they do occur.

If you are more comfortable talking with a religious advisor about sexuality issues and spirituality, visit the University Chaplain, Vern LaSala. Reverend LaSala is one of our strongest allies on campus and also a dedicated, well-respected United Methodist minister. His office is located in the Chapel and he can be reached at v-lasala@onu.edu

Clyde Pickett is the Director of Multicultural Development and also a terrific resource for GLBTQA students. Clyde is a dedicated Faculty Ally and advisor of several student organizations including the Black Student Union. He can be reached at c-pickett@onu.edu

You can also contact any officer of Open Doors or look for a faculty ally, designated by a rainbow polar bear.