Coming out- An integrated media final

So many people(including myself) have had to “come out” to everyone they love because it’s the norm for everyone to automatically just assume you’re straight. The questions I asked in the interviews are questions I asked myself after coming out and before coming out. I was incredibly scared to come out to my family because my dad is homophobic and my mom is religious. Afterwards I immediately regretted coming out and sometimes still wish I never had just because of the negative reaction I received from my parents. However, every time I came out to a friend I always got a positive reception and I love coming out to new people I meet. It’s such an integral part of who I am and I love telling people about that part of me. So then I felt that the questions I ask myself I should ask other members of the LGBT community. These are three members of the LGBT community that I have had the pleasure to interview about their “coming out stories” or lack thereof.

The first person I interviewed is my friend and RA, Zo. He identifies as a straight trans male. For the full interview refer back to J’s Jams podcast.


Were you scared to come out to your family? If so then who in particular?
Zo: “Actually I was very scared…I was scared coming out to all of them. I didn’t have to come out to my dad’s side of the family but like my stepdad, my mom, my brothers..Eventually I did and it took some years.. It was either fifth or sixth grade I came out to my brother as a lesbian. I officially came out to my school as a lesbian in seventh grade. Then I came out to my family as non-binary in tenth grade, then came out as trans in 12th grade.. When I came out as trans I had never seen my brother cry like he did so that was scary. My mom is still not very happy about it but it’s still scary when I have to be like..hey, they kinda just sweep it under the rug.”
Are you happy that you came out or do you regret it?
Zo: “ That is a really good question.. “I’m happy I eventually came out to myself, I was struggling with that and sometimes when I come back to college from my family and I’m like did I make the right decision? Is this really who I am? Because they kinda ingrain it in your head so much that this isn’t who you are and like stop pretending you’re someone you’re not. And so you start thinking, is this really who I am? Like did I make the right decision for myself? But I’m happy I came out to myself. I’m happy I came out to my friends, I have supporting friends who are pretty cool with me and I have a wonderful girlfriend who is also very supportive of me. But my family I wish I had.. I regret that I do not um.. I don’t regret.. But i’m not happy with myself that I don’t constantly come out to them because you do have to come out to people on a daily basis. I’m not on testosterone or anything so I don’t pass as well as most people. But coming out to my family I do wish I’d say it more often like this is who I am.”

The next person I interviewed is my friend and teammate Gina who identifies as a lesbian woman. For the full interview refer back to the J’s Jams podcast.


Would you say it was easier to come out to your family or your friends?
Gina: “ It was definitely much easier to come out to my friends then my family. Actually my best friend since fifth grade, we came out together to each other. We were playing Pokemon Go at the pier from Rochester where I live at 2am and he’s like “I have to tell you something” and I was like What’s up? He just told me “I’m gay” and I was like oh cool! I’m gay too! Then we sat there for a good three hours just talking about feelings and how we are gonna tell our parents and everything. So yeah it was easier to come out to my friend than my parents.”
The third and final person I interviewed was my good friend Alaces who identifies as a bisexual woman. For the full interview refer back to J’s Jams podcast.

Were you scared to come out to your family? If so then who in particular?
Alaces: “Well actually I’ve never came out to my family before. I’ve come out to my friends but never my family.”
Oh! Were you scared to come out to your friends then?
Alaces: “ I feel like I wasn’t scared to come out to my friends probably cause we all are like I guess the same generation. These ideas are easier to accept with my friend group. My main group of friends at the time were my group of guy friends from middle school. Which were all guys, me, and another girl. After I came out to them it was just like “oh she’s one of the guys I guess. She can also look at girls and think oh they’re cute too!” And I was like “I guess”. Then they came to me more for their girl problems like they didn’t care.”
Why would you say that you haven’t came out to your family?
Alaces: “ I feel like my family is from a different world than I am. For one thing my mom is an immigrant, she’s from the Philippines. In Filipino culture it’s not that its discriminatory against gays but I feel like it’s not a common thing for them to see. I see gay characters, my mom has a gay best friend. It’s like why should I be scared of coming out to that? But the idea, I don’t think she wants it to hit close to home I guess. Like why’s it gotta be my daughter? Like not like she would be mad about it but like why my daughter? Like why not someone else. And my stepdad, VERY christian background which scares the crap out of me. So I feel like I’ve talked about a lot of stuff with my stepdad before. I don’t know why it feels like it’s hard to come out to them. But I can already feel like the cross being shoved down my throat.”

LGBT Dating in College

When coming to college one would think that being gay and dating would get easier but unfortunately it does not. There are definitely more members of the community in college but it is almost impossible to tell whether or not someone is gay just by looking at them. That being said the LGBT+ community is forced to look to social media even more so in college then one would in a high school setting. According to advocate.com the statistics found that “70 percent of gay men and 47 percent of lesbians have dated someone they met online”.

Being gay and not one to look to online dating, I tried just finding other members of the community the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately that never worked out for me so I ended up downloading online dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and HER. Through this method meeting other queer girls became easier but you lose that moment of when you meet someone for the first time in person. It’s a little less meaningful since you’ve been talking to this person over social media. Even a website known as mashable.com has stated that “Here are the best gay dating apps since meeting people IRL is hell” as their headline. Tinder and HER are at the top of their best queer dating apps for college students list as well.

Social media has certainly made gay dating a lot easier then it would have been in the past. It is so much easier to find someone and to connect with someone over social media. But you are losing that specific connection when you meet someone in person. Suddenly everything becomes about talking over text and things can sometimes become toxic this way. This happens more times than not with gay couples specifically in my experience.

When it comes to the positive aspect of gay dating in college over social media; some good things would be that you meet new people. Not even in the sense that you meet them to date or hook up with them but you can make friends over Tinder and the other online dating apps too. In my own experience I’ve made plenty of friends on Tinder when we both realized that we were definitely meant to be nothing more than friends. Some of these people you wouldn’t even necessarily run into on campus. According to umd.readsh101.com found by Maryland University, it is easier for introverted people to meet other people in a less intimidating way as well.

On the other hand when it comes to the negative aspect of gay dating in college over social media, there are aspects like not having that same connection you would if you were meeting them in real life for the first time. Found by Maryland University on umd.readsh101.com, most of the time many college students including LGBT+ college students will just use these social media dating apps to just hook-up. It can be harder finding a real relationship when meeting someone over these dating apps. Nobody is really ever clear on what they are looking for over these dating apps. Not to mention the fact that the creation of these dating apps doesn’t push people to go out of their comfort zones and meet anyone in real life. In my experience, many people will just judge you based on your physical appearance with these dating apps and therefore will never get to know the real you.

This doesn’t just go for gay dating, this also applies to heterosexual dating as well on these dating apps. Overall examining it, the cons seem to outweigh the pros in that using these dating apps are not always the best option in order to meet someone. Unfortunately however, these dating apps are basically the only way that queer men and women especially college can meet someone.

Photo stories

The first photo was taken of Tyler Hall which is the music/arts building at SUNY Oswego. This building was named after James Gale Tyler and opened in 1968. The second picture was of Penfield library in which many students go to study and learn. The library was named after Lida S. Penfield and the building was opened up in 1968. The third picture is of Hewitt Union which is home to many student organizations and the college bookstore. Hewitt hall was named after Jesse Merle Hewitt and the building opened in 1963. I had taken photos of these particular building because they all mean something to me in the sense that I am constantly in all three of these buildings spending a lot of my time in them.

Julia Rushlow

 

Name: Julia Rushlow
Year: Sophomore
Major: Broadcasting and Mass Comm.
Hometown: Massena,NY

Julia Rushlow is a second year student studying Broadcasting and Mass Comm.  as a major with a minor in Theatre at Suny Oswego. She is a part of the Women’s club soccer team and the Women’s college choir at SUNY Oswego. She has also been a participant in theatre behind the scenes working as a stage manager. She also oftentimes is sharing political and lgbt related information through social media.