National Coming Out Day

Emmalee Scheibe, Staff Writer

   October is the month known for Halloween and pumpkin flavored everything, but a lesser known fact is that it is also LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) history month.

   This month includes National Coming Out Day, which occurs on Oct. 11. This is a day many people become more confident to share their sexuality with the world because they know they will not be the only one doing so. Many have shared their news over forms of social media.

   Has social media made coming out easier than before?

   Ben Spencer, a freshman, came out as a transgender pansexual over Facebook on Oct. 11.

   “I personally think coming out has gotten easier with the evolution of social media,” Spencer said.

   Explaining oneself may be easier to do over social media, but it still doesn’t take the anxiety out of the process.

   Sarah Borgelt came out seven years ago, without the help of social media. “I was 24 when I first came out. I was scared of telling my parents because I wasn’t for sure what they would think. I would always hear about all these horror stories of when kids would come out to their parents.”

   Despite the nerves and anxiety the prospect of coming out can cause, knowing there are organizations, such as PRIDE, does help some LGBT community members feel more supported in their decision.

   “The support I got from PRIDE gave me the thought that no matter what, I had this awesome group of people to rely on, and that was really comforting,” Spencer said.

   PRIDE groups and LGBT support groups weren’t as common seven years ago as they are now.

   “When I was younger there weren’t any support groups that I knew of,” Borgelt said. “Now there are all kinds of things to support gay rights and it’s definitely more accepted.”

   Through support groups can also help make accepting one’s sexuality easier, Borgelt already knew from a young age she was different.

   “I knew at a pretty young age that I was different but I never said anything because everyone made it seem like you were a horrible person and everyone would tease and bully you,” Borgelt said.

   In the end, coming out was the best thing to do for Borgelt.

   “A majority of my family said they already had me figured out when I told them I was gay,” Borgelt said. “I’m glad I came out. Everyone loves Susie and treats her like family.”

   Borgelt and her wife Susie have been married for over five years.

   “Don’t be afraid of [whether or not] people will accept you, because there will always be people in your life who won’t like you. Don’t waste your time trying to please everyone.”