Coming out is an extremely emotional time for all those involved.
As a way to lessen the emotional stress of coming out, The Pride Alliance has created an event for those within the LGBTQIA+ community to share their stories.
From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday in 290 Carver Hall, The Pride Alliance will put on an event called the Coming Out Circle where students can safely listen to or share the experience of coming out as an LGBTQIA+ individual. This event will provide a space for vulnerable conversations with an open-minded community and remind students their stories are important.
“The Coming Out Circle is a chance for people to come together and share their own unique experiences with accepting their identity or identities and/or their experiences with coming out to others," said Lilliana Davis, senior in community and regional planning, the treasurer of The Pride Alliance. "At the event, we all sit in a circle and people are free to share their stories if they want to. While the purpose is to share stories, people who attend are under no pressure to share theirs and do not have to say anything if they do not want to.”
The event has taken place the last few years to coincide with National Coming Out Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the sometimes life-changing and freeing moments of announcing one’s sexual orientation/identity publicly.
The event is open to the public and anyone can attend, but Davis noted others may not get as much out of it as members of the LGBTQIA+ community may.
“While the Coming Out Circle is open to the public — as are all of our meetings — we ask that everyone who comes be supportive of everyone who shares their stories because these are deeply personal stories and experiences," Davis said. "Also, the purpose of this meeting is to help build community within the LGBTQIA+ community, so allies might not get as much out of this meeting as our other meetings.”
Davis said the Coming Out Circle event is a great opportunity for attendees to meet members of The Pride Alliance, members of the LGBTQIA+ student community and potentially share their coming out story.