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Our National Coming Out Day Message
Dear Bard Community,
Today is National Coming Out Day, a perfect time to tell the Bard community that we are Out@Bard.
Out@Bard is a new organization on campus dedicated to the interests and concerns of LGBTQIA+ identifying Bard faculty, staff, and administrators. In addition to building community, we will be unveiling plans over the next few months to serve as a resource for LGBTQIA+ students and for educating the campus community.
One of the most powerful ways to educate others is to come out, so that’s what we’re doing today. We’re enthusiastically coming out, explaining why we’re doing it, and telling you why we think coming out is so important.
Coming out is an act of personal resistance and liberation.
Often the hardest part of the coming out journey is coming out to ourselves. When many of us come out, we’re pushing back against patterns of silence and shame that have affected our lives since childhood. So the act of coming out can be a powerful form of liberation.
But coming out doesn’t just happen once. It’s a lifelong process—we do it over and over. We come out to our families, our friends, our neighbors, our schools and campuses, our co-workers, and our communities. And whenever we move, go to a new school, or start a new job, we do it again. But we keep coming out so that we can continue to live as our authentic selves.
Coming out is political.
People who have a close relationship with someone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ are far more likely to support LGBTQIA+ rights and programs than people who don’t. So when we come out, we help move the needle of change.
We’ve made gains in recent years on LGBTQIA+ legal rights in the United States, but there’s still a long way to go, especially with regard to the rights of transgender and gender-expansive people and BIPOC people who identify as LGBTQIA+. Also, recent developments make clear that even the progress we’ve made can’t be taken for granted. Coming out is one of the ways we demand our rights as full citizens.
Coming out is an individual process.
Coming out is a powerful tool of personal and political change, but we believe no one has a right to tell you if, when, or how to come out—even on National Coming Out Day. Coming out is often a liberating experience, but it can also be a difficult one. We believe National Coming Out Day isn’t a day to feel pressured to come out but instead to honor yourself and your own identity, whoever you want to share it with, and at whatever pace works for you.
Happy National Coming Out Day! And we welcome you to reach out anytime to [email protected].