Tyler Stallings, Gay
INVOLVEMENTS AT OU:
I have limited involvement with BSCBP, Students for Liberty and Student Social Work Association.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE OUT?:
It is important for self-fulfillment. It is important to better understand yourself and helps you learn new, diverse ideals. Also, being out or being an ally shows support for other LBGTQ members who may not be out. Your courage could give someone the little push they need to accept themselves.
WHY ARE YOU PROUD?:
I am proud because I am finally learning that there is nothing wrong with me. I've started to accept myself for who I am and not holding myself back because of who I'm not. Coming out allowed me to better embrace my passions instead of focusing on my "bad" qualities.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT COMING OUT?:
The most difficult part was realizing that everyone will not suddenly hate me for identifying as gay, though some will. I had to realize that that is life and I cannot please everyone. I learned to not put everyone before myself. I gained a sense of self-respect and accomplishment.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO COME OUT?:
Happiness only occurs when you're honest with yourself. So just do it and ignore the fear that people will dislike your decision to be happy with yourself. Those people aren't really your friends anyway.
THOUGHTS FOR NON-LGBT PEOPLE ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE AND CONCERNS:
Supporting the LGBT community means more than wearing a rainbow pin on your backpack. The support of non-LGBT people brings us closer to equality. Discrimination of LGBT people is a systematic problem. It is a cyclical pattern that you can help end.