Coming Out: A Family Affair
SF State Comes Out and Celebrates
October 12, 2004 2:28 PM
Every year since 1987, National Coming Out Day provides an opportunity for LGBT individuals and their allies to come together and show support for those who have, or are about to, come out of the closest.
Students marked the occasion Monday with a celebration sponsored by the SF State Queer Alliance. Several dozen celebrants convened in Rigoberta Menchu Hall, where they listened to live music, snacked on cookies and carrot sticks, and managed to seat more people on the small couches than was ever intended.
Participants also got a chance to swap their own coming out stories as organizers passed around a microphone to anyone willing to share.
�I was like, did you know I was gay,� Hosmon said. �We kinda figured it out, we were just waiting for you to come out to us,� she said her mother responded.
�And then she said, �OK, well, I�ll let your grandparents know, and your uncle, and your dad will send an e-mail to the other side of the family,� so pretty much my whole family knows,� she said.
�Now it�s great. My coming out story rocks. My dad and my mom are my biggest supporters. My dad bought a queer ally shirt, he wears it, he jumps on stage and dances with tranny boys,� Hosmon said.
The stories ranged from the bittersweet to the funny, but almost all were hopeful. One speaker described the falling out with his father over the disclosure of his sexuality, only to find out later that his father had started keeping gay resource pamphlets in his conservative Fillmore barbershop.
Another speaker described the gastronomic dangers of coming out to a friend while simultaneously wolfing down Thai food.
People spoke of how glad they were to be there.
�It�s really important to recognize parts of our identity and be proud of who we are,� said Allison Sharplin, social coordinator for the Queer Alliance. �Whether you�re coming out today as gay, or as a knitter...or just as someone who really likes Bette Davis movies. It�s a really important day.�
The event drew many supporters and friends.
�I�m here as a queer ally, in support of LGBT people and family members, and friends and family of those who are a part of LGBT community,� said SF State senior Tiffany Banks. �We�re just sitting here, having a good time, having a celebration, and enjoying each other�s company.�
�[Events like this] are important so that people don�t feel that they�re alone, and [so that] they have an outlet to express themselves,� she said.
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