Coming Out Day at CVHS
On October 15 at Carnegie Vanguard High School, the air buzzed with pride — queer pride.
National Coming Out Day falls on the same day every year, and CVHS’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) always makes sure to promote the event. With over 60 people just in the GSA discord server and additional members of the CVHS LGBTQ+ community, it is safe to say that the school has a sizable queer community.
CVHS is known for its progressive atmosphere. Many students and teachers are openly queer. A good number of students even cite the progressive atmosphere as a reason for both attending and staying at the school, despite its difficult academics.
“There’s always a group for everyone. Even if there are people that aren't as inclusive as you expect them to be, there will always be many more who accept you for who you are,” said a junior at CVHS.
This inclusive atmosphere is fully visible on days like National Coming Out Day. Annually, the GSA places a standalone door in the school’s courtyard. Students can choose whether they would like to walk through the door and “come out” — whether that be their sexuality, gender, or even just how their day is going.
“It’s important to remember the significance of one’s identity and the value that it holds. I think Coming Out Day brings that into the spotlight and gives students a chance to be confident in who they are,” said Raven Shamoo, treasurer of CVHS’s GSA.
However, even inclusive spaces have their flaws. High school students still make their anti-queer jokes. Some students also describe feeling alienated to some extent by certain teachers and students, as if they’re only seen as their identity and not as their actual selves.
“I feel that sometimes I’m queer for other people’s convenience,” said Alex Samano, a queer junior. “I look queer to a certain extent, but if I don’t look like someone’s version of queer, then I’m not to them, which is annoying.”
But the fact that GSA is working to promote LGBTQ+ awareness, even in inclusive spaces like CVHS, proves that events like National Coming Out Day are needed. Students must have the security to feel proud about every aspect of themselves, as long as those aspects do not harm others.
As CVHS students make their way out through a door attached to no closet or room, announcing themselves as proudly as they feel, the importance for inclusion to continue in schools and other youth spaces becomes apparent.
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