“I am a boy.”
“I am a girl.”
“I am Mennonite.”
“I am not.”
“I am a lesbian.”
“I am gay.”
“I am a dinosaur.”
Today is National Coming Out Day, a day to encourage closeted Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Bisexuals to share their sexuality if ready. This day is also intended to give friends, family, and people around the country the chance to show support for the LGBT community and let them know they are not necessarily defined by their sexuality.
Here at EMU, to recognize National Coming Out Day, Safe Space is giving people the chance to affirm their identity. Instead of limiting the observance of the day to only the act of coming out, affirming your identity opens the door for many more people to participate and a variety of topics to be discussed.
Today, as a way for everyone to affirm their identity, EMU Safe Space has put large whiteboards in the Campus Center and cafeteria hallway with the phrase “I affirm that I am….” By the whiteboard there will be markers for people to write whatever they feel, for them, completes the phrase most accurately.
For example you can affirm an ethnicity, religion, or something about your personality that perhaps many people don’t know.
Chris Parks and Jacob Mack-Boll, both Sophomores, are the Co-Presidents of EMU’s Safe Space and originators of the whiteboard idea.
“As people on a journey we are constantly finding out new things about ourselves and our relations to other people. Each year, each month, each day, and each moment we are given the opportunity to look at ourselves in a mirror to reflect upon the person that we have become and the person that we are becoming,” said Parks. “The idea of coming out, yes, is about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community; more importantly today is a day that celebrates each person in their own individuality.”
So no matter who you are, where you come from, no matter what ethnicity, what race, what sexuality, if you pray or don’t; Safe Space invites you to go the Campus Center or the cafeteria and affirm your identity. I will start; I affirm that I am an EMU student that supports National Coming Out Day.
Devon Fore, News Editor