Coming Out Story 6
Sociology and Social Ecology Major
As a queer, white, able-bodied male, feminist and first generation college student, my identity has afforded me many privileges and many challenges. However, it is through my marginalized identity as a queer individual that I have been inspired to become an activist and advocate for social justice. It was not until I got involved with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center that I truly became conscious of the different components of my identity. My supervisor at the Resource Center conducted social justice trainings during weekly meetings and acted as a mentor by encouraging me to apply to different leadership positions on campus. Eventually, I interned at the Resource Center where I served as the Safe Zone Coordinator. Safe Zone is a program that trains individuals to identify as Allies that are informed, supportive, and affirming of the LGBT community. As the Coordinator for the program, I was able to help create the Safe Zone program from the ground up, assisted in researching and designing the training manual, developed and executed activities during the training sessions themselves, and improved my group facilitation skills.
The LGBTRC has become my home away from home, acting as a huge component of my undergraduate career. The initial "coming out" process was really difficult at times, but once I had the courage to walk into the center my life has only greatly improve. It was as a social network, introducing me to a large variety of friends and colleagues. It played a role in my development as a professional by exposing me to new experiences that strengthened my skills and talents.
This might seem like LGBTRC propaganda (which it is), but in all honesty, it is also the story of a graduating fifth year student who is extremely grateful to have been active within the queer community and the LGBTRC at UCI. The center changed my life.