Coming out to friends and family can be hard, but some students decided to face their fears as they told their stories to the campus of Ferris State University.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, ally or asexual (LGBTQIA) community asked for respect at the third annual Queer Monologues last Monday. The Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance (DSAGA) hosted the Queer Monologues at 7 p.m. in BUS 111. Students and advisers portrayed theatrical versions of their personal coming out stories or others’ coming out stories.
“I am not a him or a her; I am not a homophobe; I am not a stereotype; I am not afraid; I am not ashamed; I am not an abomination; I am not a woman; I am not your perception; I am not a sports encyclopedia; I am not a simple definition; I am not a butch lesbian; I am not a guy; I am not a tragedy,” said all the presenters collectively.
Presenters told stories of gay family members, parents’ rejection or acceptance and personal struggle with coming to terms with their own feelings.
“[Students] are at an institution of higher learning. That’s why they’re here; to get an education, to learn,” Clark and Helen Ferris Hall Director and DSAGA Adviser Mike Mueller said. “[Queer Monologues are] just another aspect of life where they can learn and grow as individuals.”
According to a video shown at the event, 37 percent of the LGBT community grades 9 through 12 commit suicide.
“I think that they [Queer Monologues] are important for students because it really opens their eyes to that grey area,” said Ferris junior graphic design major Kevin Maenie. “They can see that everything’s not black and white. There are things in this world that there aren’t necessarily answers to. It’s good to get that exposure so [students] can learn and grow as people.”
Queer Monologues were a part of Pride Week. DSAGA will be hosting the Drag Show at the Gate on Thursday.
“These are our stories, our lives,” said all of the presenters. “You do not have to agree with us, you do not have to accept us, but this is who we are. But we do ask that you respect us and support those that you love. We hope we may have opened a few minds, touched a few hearts, and given insight to those who are struggling with their gender identities or sexual orientations.”