Students Celebrate ‘Coming Out’ At Arrowhead

The 11th of October marks National Coming Out day, a day celebrated by the LGBTQ+ community in support of people “coming out of the closet.” In 1988, Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary marked it as a national celebration. Richberg was a psychologist whilst O’Leary was an activist and they both believed queer individuals should be able to publicly declare their sexuality. 


The term “coming out of the closet” originated in the 20th century, according to Olivia Waxman of the New York Times. In the article, “The History Behind Why We Say a Person ‘Came Out of the Closet‘” Waxman further states that ‘coming out of the closet’ referred to gay people coming out to each other rather than coming out to the world or family which is why it is used now.


Senior Kate Sprinkmann, who identifies as bisexual said, “No I did not…I didn’t know there was a day for that.”


People who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community can take the day to celebrate. Senior Kaelyn Ferrel identifies as bisexual and says, “[I came out by] telling my family group chat. My sister said, ‘yeah we knew’ and both my parents were just shocked.”


Those who are not a part of the community can also appreciate the day. Senior Daniel Payne said, “Good for them.”


The day comes three days before the anniversary of the original National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. According to Howard University, the original march demanded a queer rights bill, a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, a ban on discrimination of same-sex parents, repeal of anti-queer laws, and protection of queer children.


As of 2015, same-sex marriage is federally legal in all fifty states due to a supreme court decision. The vote was 5-4 and ruled that same-sex marriage fell under the fundamental right to marry and equal protection cited in the fourteenth amendment. 


Today, people can support queer individuals by staying informed, being honest, supporting equality, speaking up, and their own version of coming out, states Youth Engaged For Change in the article “Being an Ally to LGBT People.”


Though he is not a part of the LGBTQ+ community, senior Elliot Astle said, “I support my queer friends by listening to them.”