Imagine waking up every day hiding a part of who you are; knowing that it’s there but terrified to be honest with yourself and the people around you. This was the reality that Becca Whitehead experienced before coming out to her friends and family.
“It was so hard because there is nothing worse than not being comfortable with who you are. I dated a lot of guys throughout high school even though I knew I wasn’t into them because a part of me wished I was,” Whitehead said. After coming out as bisexual, Whitehead developed her style, sense of self, love of tattoos, and her sexuality.
“When I started dating a girl, I realized I’m not just gay, I’m gayyy. When I admitted to myself who I was, I was able to fall in love with her.” Telling her parents wasn’t easy and although they are on good terms; there are still struggles.
“The gayness was the cherry for the sundae with my parents. I was worried that my dad was going to burn my girlfriend and I on the cross when they first met her but I don’t need anyone telling me what I’m doing is wrong. That is no reason to hide who you are,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead’s story is just one of the many stories that accompany the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance’s “Coming Out Week.” This week celebrates coming out day on October 11th to recognize all Lesian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals who are out and “coming out” for those who do not feel safe yet.
In the words of Kimberly Jensen, programming coordinator for GSA, this organization’s purpose “is to provide an inclusive environment for all students and provide equality on our campus to create a safe environment for everyone.”
This week began with a viewing of the movie, “If These Walls Could Talk 2” on Monday October 10th in the Dreyfus University Center Theater. This HBO movie follows three different lesbian couples that have lived in the same house in three different time periods and addresses concerns with pregnancy, feminist movements and family matters. Featuring Ellen Degeneres, Sharon Stone and Michelle Williams, this movie depicts the struggles that some LGBT individuals go through in the aftermath of coming out.
Because Tuesday, October 11th marked Coming Out Day, the night was dedicated to coming out stories. The atmosphere was loud and talkative in the DUC Encore. When the program started; however, everyone was engaged as seven individuals shared their coming out stories and the impact it had on the rest of their lives.
When asked why this day is important, Michael Waak said, “The coming out process is something that all LGBT people go through and so some people wait for this day as an encouragement. Other people come out when they’re ready and this day represents their will and what they go through to get to that point.”
Just because Coming Out Day is over doesn’t mean that the celebration is. Thursday will be Plan B! night leaving at 7:00 pm. This is an LGBT club (straight people are always welcome) set in Madison. Anyone interested in going must fill out a few forms that can be found on the Rainbow Center’s door in the basement of the DUC so that you can ride the bus. Space is on a first come first serve basis but if you are still interested in coming it is encouraged to drive down with a group of friends. To conclude this weeks’ festivities on Friday at 3:00 p. m. there will be Safe Zone Training in the North Laird Room of the DUC.
“Stick with what you know is right and that’s just being you. That’s all that ever matters,” Whitehead said.