Being true to yourself
Coming out as gay or lesbian is an amazing time because it means you’re ready to be 100 per cent true to yourself. But it can also be scary for some people.
It’s important to accept and like yourself for who you are. Your sexual identity is a part of you, but it’s not everything about who you are. You are still the same person you always have been, you are now just sharing another piece of your identity that was always there.
Preparing to come out
When you are coming out to your family and friends, sadly, there are some things you should consider in order to protect yourself. Unfortunately, some people may not accept you right away and others may not want to continue a friendship with you. If you are coming out, look for hints about what people’s beliefs systems are ahead of time. Do they know other LGBTT* people? Have they demonstrated openness and acceptance of the LGBTT* community or have they shown intolerance and discrimination? The answers to these questions can give you clues about how people might react, but keep in mind that some people who you thought were accepting may show they are not, and people who you thought were discriminatory might surprise you.
Preparing yourself emotionally for whatever the outcome might be is important. Sometimes you end up having to be a support to people that might become emotional themselves, so when you are coming out, it is important to be in a place where you’re comfortable with who you are and are strong in your sense of self. This is one of the few times in life when a special moment that should be all about you (coming out) can turn into a moment that’s all about them! Be ready to be a support or offer people you are coming out to more information.
Something else to consider when coming out is your safety. Safety comes in many forms — this can be your physical safety but also safety in terms of housing and support. If you come out to your family, will they be accepting? Will you be allowed to stay at home or is your housing at risk? Are you financially dependent on your family? Will this be cut off? If you think these things may be at risk, consider this in your decision to come out to your family and how you may need to make plans that will ensure your safety and well-being.
Supports at RRC
At the College, you will have a lot of support if you choose to come out. Counselling and Accessibility Services has counsellors who are available to support students around personal issues such as coming out, as well as academic issues.
Red River College also has an LGBTT* Initiative Program that identifies, trains and supports allies at the College. The Initiative works to create a safe and inclusive environment at the College so all students have the opportunity to learn and feel supported.
There is also a new LGBTT student group that has formed at Red River College. Information on this group can be found on their Facebook page.
Supports in the community
Outside of the College, there are many great supports and ways to get involved in the LGBTT* community. The Rainbow Resource Centre provides counselling and support, access to resources and a library and ways to get involved in social events and with volunteer opportunities. The Centre can also help connect you with other community groups, supports and services outside of the College.
What kind of supports did you find helpful when you were coming out? Tell us in the comment section below!
The LGBTT* Initiative at Red River College is now accepting nominations to fill the eight positions on its established LGBTT* Initiative Steering Committee for the period of July 2013 to June 2015.
The LGBTT* Initiative at Red River College fosters the development of a safe environment on our campuses so everyone has the chance to work, learn and access services in an inclusive and welcoming manner. The LGBTT* Initiative provides educational opportunities and resources to build communication, understanding and respect for diversity throughout the College. This is an initiative for all Red River College students, staff and faculty.
The purpose of the Steering Committee is to provide input and guidance on activities for the LGBTT* Initiative. Members will participate by sharing information regarding emerging needs and issues across the College campuses, and considering strategic enhancements that could further the LGBTT* Initiative educational impact at Red River College.
A diverse representation at the Steering Committee guarantees the access to a varied of views according to different campuses, professional areas, roles at the College, etc.
- Attend regularly scheduled in-person meetings (generally every 2 months).
- Give feedback on policy, direction, and strategic planning of the LGBTT* Initiative.
- Strategize effective ways to increase the LGBTT* Initiative visibility, organizational outreach and educational impact within Red River College.
- Liaise the LGBTT* Initiative with external organizations and community representatives.
- Steering Committee members must be Red River College faculty members, administrative staff, students and/or graduates.
- Steering Committee members must be LGBTT* Allies (screening of a DVD recording of an Ally Training is available).
- Willingness to support and advocate for LGBTT* individuals, and for the LGBTT* Initiative within Red River College and in the community at large.
If you are interested in nominating an individual or yourself for the committee, please provide:
- One page statement of interest from the nominee, including description of role and involvement at Red River College and in the community.
- Nominations must be submitted by Friday, April 5 at 3:00 pm to email@example.com.
For more information or any questions, please contact Nora Sobel, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204.632.2404.
The next Ally Trainings at Red River College are confirmed for Friday, May 10 (The Roblin Centre) and Monday, May 13 (Notre Dame Campus).
If you are staff or faculty and you are interested and available to attend one of these sessions, please visit https://hub.rrc.ca/facultydevelopment/default.aspx and register for the session you will attend.
If you are a student and you would like to register for one of the sessions, please e-mail to email@example.com, indicating which day you are interested on attending.
Deadline for registration is April 30.
The trainings are organized by the College LGBTT* Initiative that provides educational opportunities and resources to build communication, understanding and respect for diversity throughout the College.
The LGBTT* Initiative appreciates the ongoing support of the Ally Project provided by Rainbow Resource Centre.
DUE TO SCHEDULING ISSUES WITH THE TRAINER, THIS SESSION WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR THE SPRING
LGBTT* individuals often feel unwelcome and excluded, and they look for behaviours and signs that may indicate whether or not people will support and welcome them as LGBTT* individuals. The Ally Project seeks to create a safer, welcoming, and supportive environment for LGBTT* people by helping them to identify Allies who they can trust and with whom they can be open.
This 1-day session is for Red River College staff, faculty or students and will provide participants with knowledge and tools for potential Allies.
Date: Friday, February 22, 2013
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (coffee station and light lunch are provided)
Location: P107 The Roblin Centre (160 Princess Street)
Trainer: Bradley Christopher West, Healthy Sexuality Educator, Rainbow Resource Centre
If you would like to attend this Ally Training, please register online at https://hub.rrc.ca/facultydevelopment/default.aspx or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before February 12, 2013.
Red River College offers this Ally Training as part of the LGBTT* Initiative, coordinated by the Diversity and Immigrant Student Support department. This session is brought to you in partnership with RRC Faculty Development and thanks to the ongoing support of Rainbow Resource Centre.
For more information, please contact Nora Sobel, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator at 204.632.2404 or email@example.com.
Encore Documentary Screening
Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride
Monday, June 18, 2012
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Orange Lecture Theatre, Notre Dame Campus, Red River College
Homosexuality remains illegal in roughly 80 countries. In 7 it is punishable by death. It’s time for change. Pride is more than a parade and a party. It is a giant step towards true human equality. Join us for a global tour of Pride celebrations around the world to personally experience the powerful oppression that continues to exist, and the triumphs of celebration…
Please register before June 14 at https://go.rrc.ca/information/Services/StaffLearnDev/default.aspx
Presented by the Red River College LGBTT* Initiative in partnership with Staff Learning and Development.
For more information:
Nora Sobel, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or 632-2404
LGBTT* individuals often feel unwelcome and excluded, and they look for behaviours and signs that may indicate whether or not people will support and welcome them as LGBTT* individuals. The Ally Project seeks to create a safer, welcoming, and supportive environment for LGBTT* people by helping them to identify Allies who they can trust and with whom they can be open. This 1-day session will provide participants with knowledge and tools for potential Allies.
Date: Monday, May 7, 2012
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Coffee Station and Light Lunch will be provided)
Location: Studio B (formerly CanWest Global studio) Notre Dame Campus (Session will be available online for staff from Regional Campuses)
Trainer: Brad Tyler-West, Healthy Sexuality Educator, Rainbow Resource Centre
If you would like to attend this Ally Training, please register online at https://apps.rrc.ca/facultydevelopment/default.aspx before April 27, 2012.
Red River College offers this Ally Training as part of the LGBTT* Initiative, coordinated by the Diversity and Immigrant Student Support department. This session is brought to you in partnership with RRC Faculty Development. For more information, please contact Nora Sobel, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator at email@example.com or 632-2404.