Should LGBT+ People Have to Come Out Anymore?

In our era, should LGBT people have to come out?

Should LGBT+ People Have to Come Out Anymore?

Keith Haring

Gianna Jirak, Lifestyle and Fashion Editor

Coming Out
verb /kuhm-ing out/
A metaphor for LGBT+ people revealing their sexual or gender identities to family, friends, etc.

The definition of coming out makes the process seem rather simple, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, etc (LGBT+) person just tells a friend or a loved one that they’re LGBT+. But that is far from the case. In 2018, many people are now asking whether coming out is even required anymore. Straight people don’t need to come out, so why would LGBT+ people need to?

The idea of coming out was introduced by Karl Heinrich Ulrichs in 1896.  He claimed that coming out was a means of emancipation and that if people weren’t open about their homosexuality, the public opinion on homosexuals would never change.

This 122-year-old idea is so significant that a national holiday was created. National Coming Out Day was founded in 1988, with an emphasis on the idea of coming out being a form of political activism. One of the founders, Robert Eichberg, said, “Most people think they don’t know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact, everybody does. It is imperative that we come out and let people know who we are and disabuse them of their fears and stereotypes.”

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs and Robert Eichberg were born in a more traditional, less accepting time period.

According to Business Insider, Generation Z is the most diverse and inclusive generation out there, and they’re more likely to have friends of a different sexual orientation than Millennials.  So, what do they have to say about it?

Sophomore Aisha Knotts said, “I feel that coming out is needed in society because everyone should feel free to be themselves, and shouldn’t feel that they have to hide anything about themselves.”

Sophomore Myreya Morales-Caballero said, “No one should care what someone’s sexual orientation is, but if the person in question wants to come out, they should.”

Junior Reagan Palazzo said, “A person’s sexual orientation is nobody else’s business and coming out makes LGBT+ people seem like an abnormality.”

Sophomore Victoria Miranda said, “Coming out is a simultaneously necessary and unnecessary event that many LGBT+ people find themselves doing over and over again in their lives. To the person in question, it’s an experience vital to their ability to be themselves around others, but it’s isolated LGBT+ people in that it is an extra step they must take to be accepted and to be known.”

If you want to learn more about LGBT+ people and coming out, join Hylton’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). They meet every other Tuesday in room E168B.  Contact the club advisor Ms. Ayers for more information.