The Issaquah High Times

Happy Coming Out Day!

PRIDE%3A+Senior+Mimi+Gaudiano++displays+their+pride+flag%2C+which+sthey+plan+to+wear+as+a+cape+on+Oct.+11+for+the+second+year+in+a+row.+They+made+the+decision+to+come+out+as+Nonbinary+this+September%2C+preferring+the+pronouns+they+and+them.++%22I%27ve+been+introducing+myself+with+my+name+and+my+pronouns%2C+and+it%3Bs+really+wonderful.++I%27m+excited+to+spend+my+last+year+at+IHS+feeling+more+like+myself%2C%22+they+said.
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Happy Coming Out Day!

PRIDE: Senior Mimi Gaudiano  displays their pride flag, which sthey plan to wear as a cape on Oct. 11 for the second year in a row. They made the decision to come out as Nonbinary this September, preferring the pronouns they and them.

PRIDE: Senior Mimi Gaudiano displays their pride flag, which sthey plan to wear as a cape on Oct. 11 for the second year in a row. They made the decision to come out as Nonbinary this September, preferring the pronouns they and them. "I've been introducing myself with my name and my pronouns, and it;s really wonderful. I'm excited to spend my last year at IHS feeling more like myself," they said.

Connor McKee-Sargent

PRIDE: Senior Mimi Gaudiano displays their pride flag, which sthey plan to wear as a cape on Oct. 11 for the second year in a row. They made the decision to come out as Nonbinary this September, preferring the pronouns they and them. "I've been introducing myself with my name and my pronouns, and it;s really wonderful. I'm excited to spend my last year at IHS feeling more like myself," they said.

Connor McKee-Sargent

Connor McKee-Sargent

PRIDE: Senior Mimi Gaudiano displays their pride flag, which sthey plan to wear as a cape on Oct. 11 for the second year in a row. They made the decision to come out as Nonbinary this September, preferring the pronouns they and them. "I've been introducing myself with my name and my pronouns, and it;s really wonderful. I'm excited to spend my last year at IHS feeling more like myself," they said.

Kaitlin D'Souza, Staff Writer

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This October 11 marks the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. This appreciation day celebrates individuals who come out as LGBTQ+ and their allies. When it was first introduced in the 1980s, Coming Out Day was a way to combat ignorance fostered by silence surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. Now it is used to raise awareness regarding the LGBTQ+ community and their rights. Here at Issaquah High, we work to create a safe community for all individuals. To everyone coming out today, we at Issaquah High support you!

This year, I decided to come out as Nonbinary at school. I’ve been out and proud as gay for years (last coming out day I wore my pride flag as a cape to school, and I plan on doing that again this year), but my gender identity is something that I’ve struggled with for a while. Finding that I feel most comfortable with being Nonbinary and using they/them pronouns has been a journey. And this year, I wanted to feel like I was 100 percent myself at school. I decided to email my teachers before the year started, rather than talk to them in person. This was mostly for my own sake, as I was very, very, very nervous. I had no idea if any of my teachers had met a Nonbinary person before, or how familiar they were with the concept of gender existing outside the binary “man” or “woman.” Admittedly, I ended up putting it off out of nerves, and I didn’t email them until the night before the first day of school. Fortunately, all my teachers have been really great! My nerves ended up being totally unnecessary. I’ve been introducing myself with my name and my pronouns, and it’s really wonderful. My teachers, family, and friends are trying their best to use my pronouns consistently, and I’m so grateful for that! I’m excited to spend my last year at IHS feeling more like myself.

-Mimi Gaudiano, 2019

The best thing about being out is that a burden is off of you and you are able to be who [you] truly are. Be as flamboyant…as you want to be. The LGBT [community] is the most accepting and loving community ever, going through what we went through, we are full of love for everyone. We bond through the common experience of pining over a straight crush, and joking about it. Never hear a word ending in -ay or straight without making a pun about it. Go rainbows! Be out, be proud of who you are.

-Alan Jaspen, 2019

Don’t be afraid of what others think. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings to your friends, crush, or your parents. When I expressed my bisexuality to my parents, it actually ended in disbelief. They thought I was too young to know who I am and refused to accept my words. I know I’m not that only one this has happened to. What’s important is that you accept and love yourself for who you are. And trust me, there are always others who will accept and love you.

-Anonymous, 2019

Even if you are scared to come out, even if you don’t know if people are going to accept you, even if you feel like you don’t know your sexuality enough, you are still valid and accepted. We love you and we accept you.

-Anonymous, 2019

Honestly, coming out isn’t really fun sometimes… I remember my story, my mom found out and wouldn’t stop asking me questions about it and I proceeded to lock myself in my room cause it was so overwhelming. But it’s fine… for now… So I guess best advice is to push through and stay strong!

-Anonymous, 2020

For every jerk who’ll judge you because they think your sexuality defines who you are, there is someone out there who won’t care who you identify as and will want to be your friend anyway (me).

-Hawani, 2021

If you don’t want to tell everyone, find someone who you know you can trust to talk about it. And if you don’t know if you can tell your parents, try bringing up the topic objectively and see how they would react (i.e. asking what would happen if one of your siblings were gay/trans/queer, etc.) GOOD LUCK AND IF YOU’RE EVER IN NEED OF HELP, THERE ARE GREAT RESOURCES ONLINE IF YOU NEED THEM.

-El, 2021

Coming out can be scary, and for the most part, it’s true. Suddenly, all these homophobic people you didn’t know existed show up. Even though we live in a fairly liberal area, people will still be jerks. When I came out to my brother two years ago, he jokingly called me a faggot. I knew he was joking, but it still hurt. You have to constantly put up a facade so people don’t question who you are, and it’s tiring. People will say they understand but still continue to say rude things because they think you’re okay with it. And sometimes it isn’t okay. But on the flip side, once you come out, you feel like you don’t have to be fake anymore! You can really be yourself and it’s the most liberating thing in the world. If you find yourself in a safe situation, I encourage you to come out and be yourself. I love you.

-J, 2021

I came out to my dad in 7th grade when we were dropping my brother off to his friend’s house to take pictures before prom. My mom, my dad [and I ] were alone in the car and I asked about hypothetically bringing a girl to prom romantically. My parents were really confused and asked if I’m bisexual (which I am) and they were silent for a while. Then we went to Ben and Jerry’s afterwards where my dad asked me if I’m really bisexual because he’s straight but he thinks Hugh Jackman is really hot.

-Anonymous, 2021

My parents were not happy. My mom found out I was going with another girl to homecoming while we were at the mall together, shopping for a dress. She said nothing to me and then asked me a bunch of questions I didn’t know how to answer. She told me she didn’t like it, didn’t approve. My mom asked me if I was willing to ruin my friendship with this girl. And she cried, a lot. My dad later told me that she cried every night. So it didn’t go exactly as I hoped, in fact, I had been planning on never telling anyone ever. I was never one of those people that was super open or obvious about things like that. The way I see it, my sexuality is only a little part of me, it doesn’t define who I am or if I’m a good or bad person. My family is Christian and they believe it’s a sin, but I wonder how loving somebody too much could possibly be sinful. My siblings though, reacted perfectly. My older brother asked me about it later, and told me if I ever needed to skirt skirt out of the house, he could drive me somewhere. Even though I know not everyone will be accepting, there will always be people who are.

-Anonymous, 2021

‪            The process of coming out can be infinitely more difficult in families of color, and the stigma around being LGBT feels even more isolating for many of us. If you’re in that situation, I hope you know that there are people who are here for you- people who have gone through the same thing. Whether you’re out, are in the process of coming out, or haven’t told anyone yet, I hope that no LGBT person of color here feels alone or alienated this Coming Out Day because of the unique experiences that their identity can bring. Have pride and love yourself as who you are, no matter how long it may take to get there.

-諾晴, 2022

I come out every day, with each new encounter with each new person. Of course there have been times I’ve had “big” coming out conversations, especially with close friends and family, but each day I repeat the process even just a little. It can be exhausting, but I also feel strength in owning my identity every day. I have also discovered that coming out is less about me, and more about others perception of me. I haven’t really changed. I’ve always been queer. But for a very long time I just didn’t let “you” know. I was scared of who I would loose, how I would be treated, if I would lose my job. I also had the privilege of secrecy. However, when I came out, only a few people left my life, and that’s okay. I’ve gained far more loving and wonderful humans to walk with in this journey, I have an awesome partner, our children are two of our strongest allies, and I have one of the best jobs ever. As cliche as it sounds, it really does get better.

-Mark Moody, Staff

The Issaquah High Times would like to wish everyone a happy and safe coming out day!

Kaitlin D'Souza, Staff Writer

Class of 2019, second-year-journalist, self-proclaimed bibliophile, hardcore selfie taker, and lover of the Oxford comma. Secretly a superhero. May have...

Connor McKee-Sargent, Photographer

Class of 2019, Photographer, preferred portraits. I don’t take selfies, I take self-portraits. I have a ton of free time in the world yet I’m always...

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Happy Coming Out Day!