Op-Ed: My National Coming Out Day Was That Damn TND a Month Ago

Of COURSE the woke Wildcats of Northwestern University would remain one step ahead of the game when it comes to celebrating LGBTQ students. National Coming Out Day may be on October 11, but our school couldn’t wait to celebrate — and instigate — the coming-out process for its queer students.

At the Social Justice and Inclusion TND all the way back in mid-September, we freshmen were on the edge of our seats, literally! When that no-longer-anonymous poll cycled around to questions on sexual orientation and gender identity, gay students faced a dilemma: should we stand and reveal ourselves before we’re ready, or should we keep sitting with our peers (and internal guilt)?

I’ve spent years agonizing over what to say, when to say it, how to say it. So imagine the glee on my face when that presenter told us to stand if we identified as gay. I jumped up, grinning from ear to ear, raising a fist to the sky and shouting, “Boo-yah! I’m gay as fuck!”

What else could I have done in front of two thousand people who barely knew me but very well could have been judging me? Who cares if people give us weird looks because they don’t accept us? And who cares if I immediately wanted to sink back into my seat after making one of the most impulsive but important decisions of my life?

Thank you, Northwestern, for pressuring people like me to disregard years of thought in favor of spilling our deepest secrets in front of a large audience. Thank you for supporting your most diverse class ever — not just for one day but for every day when you need to pat yourself on the back for having your most diverse class ever.

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