Happy Coming Out Day – MMSD 2019

My name is Ava, my pronouns are she, her, hers and I’m an eighth grader at O’Keeffe Middle School. My name is Sam. My pronouns are he, him, his. My name is Carrie and I go by she, her, hers My name
is Miller and my pronouns are they, them, theirs and I’m non-binary. My name is
Elliot and my pronouns are he, him his. My name is Morgan. My pronouns are she, her, hers. I am in 11th grade and I go to LaFollette high school. I identify as
pansexual. I identify as a bisexual cisgender. I also identifie as a pansexual
male. I really like, started coming out to like, my friends in like 4th, 5th grade
and then I came out to my mom in like, seventh grade. I first came out to my
sister because I knew she was very accepting and stuff. I came out in fifth
grade. It was never really a secret but not a lot of people knew. I came out at a
summer camp and everyone there was super supportive. In total I came out like
about three times. I came out to my mama I just felt comfortable coming out to
her and she was good, she was cool with it and she had already knew. Before I
came out I was scared and didn’t know what to expect. I was like happy to like,
be authentically myself to like, my community around me but also like, kind
of nervous because I didn’t know like, what everyone’s reaction was gonna be. I
told my friends first because I just think it was easier because they’re very
supportive. The hardest thing about coming out I think is like, people not
understanding or accepting you. When I first came out I came out to a couple of
friends but then when it came to school I was like, okay, we’re just gonna chill,
we’re gonna just deal with being misgendered and all that bad stuff and
then I was like okay, you know what? We’re just going to do something brave
and so I came out as male and everyone was actually pretty nice about it. Since
I came out it’s been a lot more like, free like, I haven’t had to worry as much
about like, someone knowing. It’s been wonderful I guess, I mean my family,
in the community, at school have just been like, really accepting. It’s honestly been
like, a relief just knowing the people who I love, those who I’m around all the
time, they accept me as who I am and they don’t think I’m different from anyone
else. It just feels normal to be who I really am. When I was in middle school they used to bully me but now when I like came out, like, people was cool. They started not
bullying me no more. If I were giving advice to someone who hasn’t come out yet I
would probably say just like, tell the people you love. A lot of people are
really accepting of it and like, a lot of people like, love me, like, my family knows
now and they, they still accept me. They love me and everything so it’s been
pretty good. I feel that you need to think about this before you commit to it.
You need to think about are you in a safe place? Are your parents like, open to
it like, to accepting you? If you’re worried that your family might not be as
supportive it might be something to definitely think about. Do it when you’re
ready, because if you rush to it it’s not gonna feel right. Like, if you listen
to other people rush you and be like, well, if you tell them it’s gonna be good
like, you’re gonna feel better about it. Yeah, you will feel better, but you won’t
like, be happy about having to come out so fast. You want to do it when you’re
ready. I want you to know that like, not to be scared and like, to like, just open
up to somebody that you feel open, feel good to open up to. And another thing is
like, don’t be scared because when it does happen you’re gonna feel great,
you’re gonna be like happy that you finally can accept yourself. You don’t
have to walk around and hide about everything. What teachers can do is
really discourage use of homophobic slurs because if I were going to come
out then rather come out in a safe environment. Teachers should make more of an effort to like, get kids pronouns right. Teachers need to watch what other
people say a little bit more. Just use pronouns
because it’s not that hard. Just, you know, there’s he, she, ze, they, just,
any pronouns people want. They are real pronouns and you should use them. Put
their correct pronouns in Infinite Campus or put them next to the attendance sheet
and the name that they want to go by. It’s bad to separate groups into boys
and girls because some people might not feel that they fit into boys or girls.
They might feel in the middle. For teachers, if a student comes to you, comes out to you, I want I want you to realize that they’re putting their trust in you
to have them know about this personal thing about them and they’re
coming out to you for a reason. That means they believe that you would
accept them and that you would offer support for them. My like, advice to like,
any like teacher like, staff member I’d probably like, say like, don’t go to
somebody’s parent or like, their guardian because 99.9 percent of the time they’re
not either ready to go to their guardian and tell them or you’re probably gonna
put them in danger because their parent or guardian might not accept that. You
might put them in danger and make them get kicked out or disowned by their
family. So don’t ever like, take their coming-out story because that’s a really
important thing to somebody is to be able to come out to somebody. The most
helpful thing has probably been having a bunch of friends that are not only like
me but they’re there to support me along with oh like, teachers and other staff
members and even some parents. Find someone who you think is comfortable
about it and someone who would be willing to accept you no matter who you
are or what you are. Be yourself. Normally at school you can. I feel like
it will be better for you to finally start accepting yourself because you’ll
feel more free and open and that’s the best way to live life. It’s cool being
who you are like, and not be scared. Hey LGBTQ+ youth. Here in MMSD we hear you and support you. We know that it’s critical for you to have adults in school that you trust.
Hopefully you’ve seen some of your staff at your school wearing this card on
their lanyard. These staff have done extra training and care about being an
ally to LGBTQ+ students. We want you to know we’re here for you.
As lgbtq+ allies we commit to being open and listening to students, advocating for
your rights, using inclusive language, intervening
when we witness biased language or bullying, encouraging you, supporting you
to be your authentic self. We are thrilled to let you know about the Out
for Safe Schools program. Be you, be proud, you belong in MMSD. We see you, we love you. Happy coming out day! Happy coming out day! Happy coming out day!

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