By Christen McDonald, Environmental Science student
How did I come out, you may ask? In one single Facebook picture post.
Well that was one of the times I’ve come out because let’s face it, you never stop coming out. This is especially true if you don’t fit into society’s standard for what being gay should look like.
Coming out is extremely nerve racking and I only did it when I felt it was the right time for me. I was unsure for a long time whether I identified as a lesbian or a bisexual. As I have grown older, I shift between calling myself queer and a bisexual lesbian. I am most comfortable calling myself a queer person of colour. Being queer and white is one thing, but the intersection of queerness and blackness creates further marginalization.
That picture above is extremely important to me and my coming out journey. I grew up around a variety of cultures, one of which was Jamaica. Jamaica is rated as one of the most homophobic countries in the world, where laws still exist that allow members of the LGBTQ2S+ community to be incarcerated. Feeling like you are hated by a culture you are supposed to identify with is was one of the hardest things to go through.
When I lived in Jamaica, there were no laws to protect me from discrimination. I could never walk around in Jamaica holding my partner’s hand or kissing her. It was unheard of. Today I can, and that picture represents my freedom to be authentically me. The fact that I can stand in front of a rainbow-coloured pride monument kissing the person I love is unbelievable for me. I feel very blessed to live in a country that is working towards equality for the LGBTQ2S+ community.
LGBTQ2S+ students and allies are invited to visit the DSU Pride Centre and participate in Pride Collective activities. The Pride Collective is a subset of the Douglas Students’ Union, responsible for maintaining the Pride Room and the services offered within.