Brandon Fullencamp, Gay
Graduate Student, Orchestral Conducting
INVOLVEMENTS AT OU:
Recreation Club and University Singers
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE OUT?:
I think that being out is important because it allows you to focus the energy being used to shield yourself from the world to be refocused on other aspects of life. Harboring a part of one's self, and keeping it from those they care about takes an enormous amount of energy.
WHY ARE YOU PROUD?:
I'm most proud of being able to fit into many different types of social groups. I'm also proud that I don't allow being gay to govern my life, but instead, weave it and everything else that forms my being into a cohesive whole. By not focusing all my energy into making sure that everyone knows I'm gay, I'm able to focus on my studies, and trying to better myself and those around me. I've learned that you just have to let things be and continue with life.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT COMING OUT?:
I think the hardest part about coming out was trying to keep the process under control. I started coming out very slowly in high school, but only to my best guy friend. After that, I felt like I had to make sure only the people I wanted to know found out.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO COME OUT?:
You cannot come out until you feel ready inside. However, once you reach that point, you need to commit to it and give it your all. Most likely, people have a suspicion about your sexual orientation (even if you don't even know yourself for a while). It's always an odd experience when you come out to someone, and they tell you that they've known for a long time. It lifts a huge weight off of your shoulders, and then you get to laugh with them about the whole experience.
THOUGHTS FOR NON-LGBT PEOPLE ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE AND CONCERNS:
Don't be afraid to stick up for LGBT people or others in general. Even if you may not know for sure that one of your friends is part of the LGBT community, there is a good chance that at least one of them is. Because of this, try to be open and honest when talking about these topics and try to decrease the amount of negative words from your vocabulary when talking about other people.