11 October 2010 – National Coming Out Day

October 11th, 2010 § 24 comments

11 October 2010 - National Coming Out Day


  • Shorts – Gap Outlet
  • Sweater – Gap Outlet
  • Tank – J Crew
  • Bracelet – Hawaii
  • Pin – purchased on Campus
  • Flats- BR Outlet


I’m here and I’m queer!  Today is National Coming Out Day so while I have discussed my personal relationship, my wedding, my activist work, and issues of dress and identity many times, I wanted to mark the day by “coming out” on the site once again.  I first came out (in other words I told my older sister I was a lesbian) when I was a freshman in college, but I have continued to come out over and over ever since.  I think for most people coming out tends to be a process or a reoccurring act.

I’m not going to write today about using clothes to come out or to mark identity, or the misperception of identity based on appearance, even though I think that is a more than apt topic for this blog and one I have a lot to say about.  Today, I don’t want to say much other than “I’m Queer!”

Pride Pin and Beads, originally uploaded by academichic.

I could go on and on about what I mean by this loaded word, but today my goal is to let other people know that I am here and I am proud and happy.  I personally view my own repeated coming out and consistent visibility as a responsibility.  As a teacher I serve as a model and as an authority figure (no matter how much my feminist pedagogy attempts to disrupt that) and so I feel a responsibility to my students to be out.  I think it is important for LGBT students, and all students, to see an LGBT adult who is happy, successful, and proud of her identity, however multifaceted that might be.  Sadly this has only been made more clear by the recent tragedies to strike our community.

So, today, on National Coming Out Day, I encourage all of you, especially those of you who work with youth, to come out today, as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally!  Let your students know that you are there!  A.

11 October 2010 – National Coming Out Day, originally uploaded by academichic.

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§ 24 Responses to 11 October 2010 – National Coming Out Day"

  1. Ana says:

    Let me start by saying that you look great in this outfit.

    I think it’s wonderful that you share yourself and your life on here and are such a positive role model for LGBTQ kids and adults out there.

    Have you heard of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” movement? If not, I encourage you to take a look, and to consider posting a video of yourself, maybe even with A2, so you can continue spreading this message.

    Here is Dan’s original video:

  2. Katie says:

    On the one hand, I love that there’s a National Coming Out Day. On the other, it really bothers me. It bothers me because because the whole act of coming out reaffirms the notion that “straightness” is the default to be expected. And that coming out is a step that has to be taken (and taken on by the individual most effected), rather than simply being who and how a person is. As you mention yourself, coming out is not a one-time process: the person who comes out has to keep doing it, again and again. I understand the motivations behind a coming out day in relation to strength in numbers and the history of queer politics, but I’d rather live in a world where assumptions don’t come hand in hand with prejudice and stereotypes, and people can just be who they are.

    However, my own feelings of frustration aside, I’m repeatedly impressed with the honesty, tact, compassion and intellectual exploration you bring to the subject. And I really love you tank top. Happy day to you, however you wish to mark it.

  3. first of all, you look awesome in this outfit- i love the texture of the tank top. i also love that you’re so forthright about this (well, why shouldn’t you be? but still), and it’s great your students are able to also be open with you, when that may not be the case for them all the time. ~joelle

  4. Amy says:

    Yay A.! You look beautiful! Is it as unseasonably warm on this National Coming Out Day in Academichic Central as it is in my very own Midwestern college town?

    I struggled today with posting on my Facebook, which is read by many of my coworkers, that I am bisexual. I decided to do so because it is important for them, particularly those who hold anti-gay views, to know that they DO have a queer person in their life and that they DO like her. I often feel invisible as a bi person in a heterosexual relationship, and so I really relate to what you say about coming out being a continuous process.

    Thank you for being an openly queer, openly feminist scholar and teacher. I am 100% certain you are inspiring your queer, feminist, and ally students every day. They may not say it to your face, but I hope you know it.

  5. Rebekah says:

    Bold posture for a bold day?

    Reading about your life makes me feel outrageously wimpy I am. I’M scared to even ‘come out’ as a liberal or an ex-Mormon, or to ‘come out’ as a person with opinions of any kind!

    Maybe you teach more people than you realize.

  6. Marina says:

    Just a quick note to say that it’d be wonderful to read your dissection of clothing choices and how they are read/misread with regards to sexual and gender identity. From one femme type to (someone I’m assuming is) another the struggle with invisibility can be difficult to navigate.

  7. Starling says:

    Fantastic post, A. I particularly appreciate the exuberant outfit (and pose!) – they fit so nicely with the tone of the post. I will also note (as several other commenters have done) that I am sure you are teaching and helping students as well as folks you don’t even know :)

  8. Amy says:

    With everything that’s been happening the past year, regarding teens and college kids and their struggles with their gay identities, I’m so proud and happy to know that some professors are standing up and speaking out–regardless of their own sexual identities.

    I work at an extremely conservative college that has denied a charter for the student LGBT group on campus. Thus, I often feel that people like me hide our proverbial lights under some figurative bushels on campus for our professional safety–but today, I loudly proclaimed my support on facebook. If I’d been on campus (we’re closed for Columbus Day), I would have proclaimed it there, too. Things have to change, and soon.

    Stand up. Come out.

  9. I am a regular reader of your blog and delighted to see your coming out affirmation here. I’m linking my college GSA students to your post

  10. Ms. Teacher Lady says:

    Happy National Coming out day! Thanks for sharing your style.

  11. Bex says:

    Lovely outfit, lovely writing. Though I share Katie’s sentiment re: straight as default, I also know the pride and lush joy of a day like today for many of my friends, students, and loved ones.

  12. Bekah Mae says:

    Awesome outfit…I love your shoes. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject (re: clothes/sexual identity).

  13. Camla says:

    Great,Great Post; You Rock!

  14. Rebecca says:

    Fantastic post. Fantastic outfit. As usual! You inspire me to “come out” in my own ways.

  15. [...] was National Coming Out day in the US and my co-blogger A. wrote a powerful post on why it’s important to come out – as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or [...]

  16. Dawn says:

    You look beautiful, A! I love your ‘queer kids rule’ badge!

  17. Katie W says:

    What a wonderful outfit to celebrate in without being over the top. I couldn’t agree more with how important it is for anyone LGBTQ to feel like they aren’t alone. I admire you and the way you live your life openly!

  18. [...] for all the great comments yesterday! Now back to our regular scheduled programing of Interview Attire. I didn’t mean to look [...]

  19. Robin says:

    Thanks so much for this post, and for sharing your life with us all! It’s been wonderful to see a femme lesbian so successful in all facets of her life :) I proudly wore my rainbow necklace out last night, and I think I’ll wear it more often, especially when I teach since I know for a fact that I have queer students.

  20. [...] blogged more about clothing as it relates to gender and sexuality and that I took the opportunity to share more about myself with you readers.  This has been one of the most rewarding parts of bloging in year 2 (THANK YOU) [...]

  21. Charlotte says:

    My husband and I were just talking about gay/lesbian teachers of college students last night – he’s applying for tenure track positions and everyone is so very concerned about his minority status YET we’re pretty well convinced that ‘out’ teachers are much more important at that age than minority teachers. It seems to us that issues of race in particular tend to be addressed, necessarily, by students at a much younger age, but questions of sexuality often wait ’till a child is out of the family home and, well, often at college…
    Thank you for your positive and exuberant perspective, and for being available as a role model!

  22. [...] which I was presented with an honor for LGBT leadership and service.  I immediately thought of the casual outfit I wore on national coming out day and wanted to recreate it in a dressier and more winter-appropriate version.  The main elements [...]

  23. You look awesome in this outfit- i love the texture of the tank top:)

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