My Coming Out Story
With National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, The Nexus asked Jefferson Queer Student Union president Morgan Dunn to share her coming out story.
I decided to come out seven years ago when I started to feel guilty about not telling my closest friend. I started having feelings for her and thought it wasn’t very fair to her. Also, someone I knew from middle school was an out lesbian. Talking to her helped me to come to terms with it, and she let me know that I shouldn’t be scared.
The process of coming out went slowly. I started with friends who I didn’t know as well. I thought it would be a bit easier than telling someone I had known for years. When my classmates were supportive, I told my older friends. They were confused but accepted me as well. The news did eventually cause some commotion when the rest of my soccer team found out (mostly by word of mouth), and it got uncomfortable in locker rooms and warm-ups.
However, anticipating the reactions from my parents and older sister worried me the most. I honestly can’t remember where I told them. It could have been in the middle of dinner, during a car ride or at a holiday, but the resulting silence and their comments and questions have stuck with me. They said things like, “I just want you to marry a boy,” “Do you have to date her?” and “What does bisexual mean?”
While initially concerned and confused, my family still supported me in the end. They wanted me to be happy, and I’m so thankful they don’t treat me any differently today after coming out. Now, I’m out and proud wherever I go, but it’s still my choice to tell others or not.
My advice for anyone thinking about coming out or going through it right now: Be patient with yourself.
When I arrived at Jefferson, I wanted to strengthen the LGBTQ community on the East Falls Campus. I helped create the Queer Student Union in fall 2017 as a safe space to have discussions about University life and LGBTQ issues and where people can connect, learn from each other and grow. We also have events related to Coming Out Day, OutFest and Trans Day of Remembrance to make sure we continue to educate the community on these important issues. We meet formally every other Thursday during break period in Downs D6 and informally on every other Friday in Ted’s for games and just casual talking.
My advice for anyone thinking about coming out or going through it right now: Be patient with yourself. You don’t have to come out to everyone at once, and you don’t have to push yourself to announce it in a big way. Start small with classmates, mentors or maybe an aunt who you think will be supportive. Build yourself a safe space and a support system that can help you get through difficult times.
Engineering student Morgan Dunn ’20 is president of Jefferson’s Queer Student Union.
Related: Read the coming out story of Sidney Kimmel Medical College student Samuel Fels. Through JeffHOPE, he supported a teen in need.