Editor’s Note: National Coming Out Day

Pallas Gutierrez, Opinion Editor

Today is National Coming Out Day. My opinions on coming out are complicated. Coming out is a very vulnerable and incredibly personal experience. Because society is very cisheteronormative, meaning that we assume someone’s gender identity aligns with their assigned sex and they are only attracted to the “opposite” gender, telling people that one or both of those statements are not true takes extreme courage.

Coming out shouldn’t be necessary. There is very little else that is so integral to a person’s identity that we just assume it until alerted otherwise. For example, you would never assume that your friend is very artistic to the point where they felt uncomfortable telling you that they were really more athletic. In an ideal world, no one would need to come out.

But while we live in this world where coming out is necessary, stories about coming out, both fictional and personal, are important. They empower other people to come out. As Captain Raymond Holt said on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place.”

I am so honored that our three contributors today were willing to share their personal stories and feelings about coming out with me and with all of you. I am incredibly grateful that the Opinion section exists, to give pieces like this a home, and for the excitement and encouragement of my fellow editors here at The Daily as I developed this page. I hope that everyone – gay, straight, bi, cis, trans, nonbinary – learns something from these pieces.

Pallas Gutierrez is a Communication sophomore. They can be contacted at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.