This week’s brown bag is another favorite. The first Tuesday of October is always in honor of National Coming Out Week and members of the Colgate community recount their experiences with realizing, revealing, and processing their sexual and gender identities. Our panels always consist of a range of identities and experiences. The take away from these different narratives is the extent of difference among those within the queer community. Each of the four speakers on this year's panel expressed different views about the ways their queer identity affected their lives and how being honest about who they are has shaped the ways they navigate the world and interpret their interactions with it. The thing about coming out stories is that they're highly individual, which is part of what gives them power, because our supposedly enlightened society would much rather overlook these experiences under the guise of "not caring" about someone's personal identity because "we're all the same." But the public disclosure of these coming out stories rejects that impulse of secrecy and devaluing difference by reminding the audience that these events in folks' lives are significant and are worth sharing.
This brown bag is one of several events that will occur this month in the spirit of encouraging openness and enthusiastic acceptance of personal identity. Look out for fliers and emails from the Office of LGBTQ Initiatives that provide more details about campus happenings this October.
- Che J. Hatter