Harvard Provides Haven on National Coming Out Day
Exactly one year ago, Sophy T. Lee ’12 changed her Facebook status to “Yep, I’m gay.”
On last year’s “National Coming Out Day,” Lee’s new Facebook status update generated 25 comments and 40 “likes.”
“I got a lot of congrats, which was strange,” she says. “I didn’t know what I was being congratulated for.”
Lee says that the first few conversations, in which she came out to her peers, were awkward.
“There were a lot of ‘ums,’” she says.
Despite her initial discomfort and fear of discrimination, she says that everyone she told at Harvard supported her.
Though the BGLTQ community at large continues to struggle with homophobia and bullying, Lee says Harvard offered her an environment where she felt safe coming out and being open about her sexuality.
Other queer students echo Lee’s sentiments about the BGLTQ-friendly Harvard community, although a few add that occasional incidents of homophobia still occur on campus and perhaps contribute to the lingering fears of closeted students.
“VERY VERY GAY”
Jessica, a member of the Class of 2015 who identifies as lesbian and asked that her last name not be used, also saw Facebook as a tool to help her come out to her peers.
Jessica says she did not explicitly reveal her sexuality, but instead casually mentioned her girlfriend in a Facebook message to her roommates.
“I knew they were cool with it because one of my roommates would post really pro-homosexual things on her Facebook,” she says.
Jessica also found that peers in her entryway accepted her as well.
“Its interesting because it’s created a lot of conversations about sexuality,” she says.
Jessica’s experiences are similar to those of other BGLTQ-identified students at Harvard.