ISEC hosts panel to celebrate national Coming Out Day

Peggy Crowe, director of the counseling center, speaking at the Coming Out Panel on Oct. 11, 2020. 

Debra Murray

ISEC hosted a coming-out panel Sunday to celebrate national Coming Out Day.

The panel gave students and faculty an opportunity to tell their stories of when they came out or just provide advice for anyone who has not come out yet. Kyle Henry, a sophomore who currently interns with the ISEC office, organized the panel and hosted it.

“Coming Out Day is a big deal for a lot of people in the LGBTQ+ community,” Henry said. “And part of the reason why we celebrate this day is to recognize the people that have overcome the hardship of coming out to their loved ones or friends or siblings, incorporate that in our overall law.”

The panel gave faculty and students a chance to share their coming out stories with each other. There was also an activity where everyone wrote to themselves as a closeted person.

“I wrote ‘always to be yourself and to honor your values,’” Henry said.

Henry also gave advice to anyone who hasn’t come out to anyone yet.

“You have to be prepared for a negative reaction,” Henry said. “We live in a society today where people are mean, and we just have to do. And for me, like I had to be ready for that negative reaction.”

Peggy Crowe, director of the counseling center, shared her love for supporting the students who reach out to her.

“I feel like I’ve been called to work with young college students,” Crowe said. “I love my role. I’m so honored and humbled when a student comes out or shares a challenging experience with me. I appreciate you all having the courage to be unapologetically who you are.”

Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy.