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LGBTQ students express joy, grief, community in Coming Out Monologues


Communication sciences and disorders junior Emily Goldstein performed in the Coming Out Monologues on Thursday alongside other LGBTQ students who shared stories of coming out and being out. | Julie Aracia/The Cougar

Laughter, anger and silence filled the auditorium as the crowd listened to the personal and powerful stories of those who have had to come out.

Students within the LGBTQ community shared their experiences about “coming out” and “being out” in the second Coming Out Monologues at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Agnes Arnold Auditorium. They examined many of the realities that face them and others within the community.

The event occurred in honor of October’s recognition as LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

“The issue in society today is that heteronormativity is still there; being straight is normal and anything else isn’t,” said John, a graphic design freshman who, like many interviewed for this story, preferred to give only a partial name. “When you give somebody a voice to speak out and tell their story, you’re giving them power to dismantle this structure that marginalizes the LGBTQ community.”

A.’s performance paid homage to the movie “Mean Girls,” using props such as a wig and a “Gay Agenda” to ridicule the flamboyant stereotype with which most gay men are associated.

“It’s funny because I’m a walking gay stereotype,” A. said. “When people think of gay, they think of the stereotypical gay Burn Book–type of (explitive) from ‘Mean Girls.’ But when you see that everyone has their own story, you realize that you are different and that’s OK. It helps the community come together better, in my opinion.”

Some monologues were simply about how the individual “came out” to parents or friends while others gave a more artistic reflection on their life. Some gave riveting and emotional demonstrations of the pain they felt, and one performer recited the names and ages of the 49 victims killed in the Orlando, Florida’s nightclub shooting in June.

Communication sciences and disorders junior Emily Goldstein’s monologue used humor to describe how she “came out” to herself as bisexual.

“Being bisexual is like being a pull-out couch,” Goldstein said. “Sometimes you can be a bed, sometimes you can be a couch, but you will always be a pull-out couch.”

Goldstein, who identifies as a proud Hispanic, Jewish and bisexual woman, recently transferred to UH from Texas A&M University. She said that she performed her speech at Texas A&M’s Coming Out Monologues last year and that the LGBTQ community there was smaller and much less diverse than UH. 

Antropology senior Richard Sacaris, the president of the LGBTQIA student-run organization GLOBAL, opened the event talking about his experience as a transgender man.

Also, as director, Sacaris was tasked with coaching the actors, deciding which monologues fit each person best and even deciding what body language would work best for each monologue.

Sacaris said the monologues bring a positive light to the LGBTQ community.

“We get to release all that tension and talk about all of the different experiences we have had,” Sacaris said. “Not just the negative ones but the positive, too.  We get to talk about LGBTQ pride, but also how society has negatively affected us as well.”

Goldstein believes that the monologues are helpful to those within and beyond the community.

“A lot of the experiences we talk about are universal: feelings of loneliness, wanting to break stereotypes, happiness, sadness,” Goldstein said. “It helps people inside the community by showing them that they are not alone, but it helps people outside the community realize that some of these experiences are theirs, too. It helps them to empathize with us.”

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