Kat Hammond, Lesbian
Adjunct Professor, Art History
INVOLVEMENTS AT OU:
As an adjunct professor, I am incredibly involved in the academic success of my students. I also promote and attend art openings, musical performances, lectures and lunch discussions on topics ranging from women's issues to those concerning the LGBT community.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE OUT?:
For me, it is important to be true to myself, and I do that by being open and honest about who I am. I understand that being out is not for everyone, and I'm not here to promote that idea. However, I think it is important to have positive, visual examples of sexual diversity for the community at large.
WHY ARE YOU PROUD?:
I am proud of who I am in every area of my life. I make the best decisions that I can, I learn from my experiences and my mistakes, and I have goals and optimism for the future. These things help to make me the best person I can be. I am most proud of the relationship I have with my son.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT COMING OUT?:
I found that people wanted to categorize me, and that is a very difficult thing to do. I have spent time with both men and women, and this is confusing to people; they want to know if I am gay or straight or bisexual. I wondered, what do these terms really mean? I am who I am. So, it was categorizing myself in order to explain my sexual orientation that was difficult. At this point in my life it's much easier. I identify myself as a lesbian; I have found my life partner and she is the most amazing woman!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO COME OUT?:
Embrace your individuality; you are incredible and unique. There is no one way to be out and no one way to come out. Find support, whether from family and friends, or from an LGBT group or organization. Love yourself.
THOUGHTS FOR NON-LGBT PEOPLE ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE AND CONCERNS:
Support for the LGBT community is imperative and can be done in a variety of ways. Consider joining the Human Rights Campaign and promoting marriage equality, join an ally support group, share LGBT concerns on social networks; research political candidates and make your voices heard at the ballot box!