“Coming out is a process, not just one moment,” was the general consensus of the participants in the Coming Out Monologues on October 10. Spectrum, Prism, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Lucy Cross Center for Women came together to coordinate the first inaugural Monologues at Rollins. “At Rollin’s version of the Coming Out Monologues, we created it as an opportunity for people to share their own stories. Coming out can be liberating, and it also one of the most powerful things that you can do for the LGBT movement, for those who feel comfortable doing it,” says Scott Novak ’16, President of Spectrum. “This event is important to have here because even though Rollins as a college is very supportive of its LGBT students and faculty, homophobic attitudes still persistent among certain groups of people.”
The Winter Park Plaza was filled to capacity with students and faculty willing to share their stories and with supporters from the Rollins community. It was an atmosphere filled with honesty, vulnerability, and love. The various coming out stories ranged from humorous moments to shocking stories of disownership from families after coming out as LGBT. The stories also ranged from the perspective of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and even ally people. “Allies have a coming out story too. Sharing with people when and how you began to support the LGBT movement can be just as personal and moving as the coming out stories of LGBT people,” says Novak.
The coming out monologues is just one of the many ways LGBT youth are making their voice heard in the Rollins Community. “This school does so much to support equality and diversity,” claims Novak. “We have famous LGBT leaders speak on campus, we send students to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s conference, Creating Change, we are partners with the Zebra Coalition. Last week, we had a LGBT Pride flag flying alongside the American flag – this would have never happened in my high school, and I don’t think it would have happened here [at Rollins] a few decades ago! Truly, Rollins is a place of progress.”