Chris Nyirati, Lesbian
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
INVOLVEMENTS AT OU:
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE OUT?:
Let's create an environment at OU where every student, staff member, administrator and faculty member feels at home. The more comfortable each one of us becomes with one another, the more we all will be free to be creative in our learning and teaching.
WHY ARE YOU PROUD?:
I am proud of my long relationship with my partner. We have a strong commitment to staying together, despite not having the support afforded to straight couples by reason of ordinary rights and resources (marriage).
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT COMING OUT?:
I did not know a single LGBT person until I was a graduate student in my late 20's! I was afraid of being rejected for being different; I was certain I was the only one.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO COME OUT?:
Listen to and respect the responses of others when you come out. More importantly, realize that you deserve the same respect from them - even if you don't get it.
THOUGHTS FOR NON-LGBT PEOPLE ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE AND CONCERNS:
Get to know at least one LGBT person really well. You will be pleasantly surprised!