October is a very special month for the LGBTQ+ Community, being LGBTQ+ History Month to shed light on members of the LGBTQ+ Community who came and went from this earth, and to honor the impact they made that has helped shaped the LGBTQ+ Community today. There is also the fact that Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day for the LGBTQ+ Community, which makes the month even that much more special to the LGBTQ+ Community.
The importance of this month existing is more than just shedding light on LGBTQ+ Issues in general, but also to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people throughout history who weren’t able to show who they truly were. Their pain, their suffering, and unfortunately at times their ultimate sacrifices are what allows people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ Community today to have come as far as they have. While there are definitely more ways that this progress can be made further, it is undoubtedly important that acknowledging one’s history is what will help create a better future.
As a gay woman, I have spent a lot of my life trying to deny my own history. I denied the feeling I had when I kissed my female best friend at three years old, I denied any time I had a crush on a girl when I was eleven or twelve years old, I even denied the fact I simply didn’t like boys in a romantic way until I was nineteen. It wasn’t until I finally accepted who I really am and came out that I began to feel much better about myself and my life. I started living in my truth, and I feel better for it.
I know that not everyone gets such a luxury, though. Some could lose financial or emotional support if they chose to come out to their friends or family, which is heartbreaking. For those who can’t come out to the world, that’s perfectly okay. This is one of the most personal choices you could ever make about yourself, and nobody should ever have to force you out of a closet. Your history and your future matter, too. If you are thinking about coming out, make sure you accept yourself first, and then perhaps start small by telling people you know or strongly suspect would be okay with it first. Ultimately, this is your choice. For everyone in the LGBTQ+ Community, happy LGBTQ+ History Month!
For any LGBTQ+ students interested in a safe space, LC Pride is available on campus and provide complete confidentiality. For further information on joining, contact LC Pride President Natalie Hogle at NHogle@lc.edu