Words ranging from terrified and helpless to courageous and relieved were repetitive themes as students and faculty shared their stories of coming out.
On Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m., a crowd of Ferris students gathered to hear the Queer Monologues, hosted by D-SAGA (Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance), to witness the vulnerable stories of what it’s like to be LGBTIQIA+.
“I think it’s important to share these stories with the Ferris community so that they can get a glimpse of what it is that we’ve been through and what the LGBT community goes through as a whole when they decide to come out or decide to accept themselves from the feelings that they have going through that.” said Ferris hotel restaurant management senior Tim Mulligan.
Ferris students and faculty detailed what it’s like to tell others that they are LGBT+ and what it’s like to live in an unaccepting society. Although there were occasional moments of humor and triumph, the majority of the stories revealed unpleasant memories of abuse, neglect and even self-loathing.
Guest speaker and Ferris alumni, Zac Brewer, is a New York Times bestselling author who shared his insight on what it is like to come out as transgender, as well as finding the strength to be your authentic self. Zac found his strength in writing and encouraged the audience to find their own strength.
“Be selfish in finding that strength for yourself because it’s the most important gift you can give yourself,” Zac Brewer advised. “Be open to possibilities and be open to messages that are being sent to you from around the world.”
Zac also advised the audience to be safe about coming out because, despite Millennials being generally accepting of the LGBT+ community, older generations are not. It was agreed that the Ferris community is typically a safe place for LGBT+ students.
“I think we’ve definitely made progress compared to previous years, we are working to get gender neutral bathrooms and that’s really awesome for transgender students and non-binary students,” Ferris psychology junior Jackie Charette commented. “It’s not always the safest place to come out but I think compared to like 10 years ago, five years ago, it’s much safer than what it used to be.”
Anyone who is interested in helping to provide a welcoming community for LGBT+ students is encouraged to attend a D-SAGA meeting, which can be found on Orgsync.