GSA hosts ‘coming out as transgender’ panel discussion

Madison Watkins, Staff Writer

The Gay-Straight Alliance’s (GSA) Pride Month celebration continued last Thursday with a panel about coming out as transgender. A few students talked about coming out as well living in a world that is not completely accepting.

Students took turns to tell their coming out stories. Some of their parents took it better than expected and others are still coming to terms with it.

One student panelist came out to their mother in a grocery store. The mom apparently picked up a tomato, said “that’s okay,” put it back down and was fine with it.

Another panelist said that while their father is accepting, their mother goes back and forth.

Another student talked about coming out to their sister as agender (they do not identify as male or female) and the sister responded, “Oh, well I’m a demigirl so it’s fine” (they identify only partially as a female).

One panelist talked about previous depression due to being uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned at birth. They received help from counselor following a suicide attempt and time spent in rehab, realizing they were happier as a transgender female.

While some of the students are openly trans male or female, others are still trying to figure out where they fall on the spectrum and consider themselves gender-fluid for the time being. This means that they do not identify with a fixed gender.

The conversation moved to what it is like to live in a society that is only somewhat accepting of the transgender community.

“When you are queer you can usually tell when another person is, too. However, when a straight person says that they have ‘gay-dar,’ it’s sort of terrifying. When people say that, it feels like they’re singling us out,” freshman English major Bodhi Crouse said.

One student asked audience members how they would like to see other students helping out in the LGBTQ+ community.

Computer Science major Miranda Brawner added, “Make sure you ask people what pronouns they would like to be called. If you’re not sure which ones they prefer, just refer to them as ‘they.’”

English major Kat Bowen said, “We need more awareness of transgender people. We need more representation for people with different shapes and colors. We need more diverse representation.”  

For more information on upcoming Pride Month events, check out Armstrong’s calendar and GSA flyers around campus.