Aris Kaleps, Gay
Graduate Student, College Student Personnel Program
INVOLVEMENTS AT OU:
As a first year graduate student, I have only been around Ohio University for a short time. However, I have been able to experience just how diverse this campus community is. From Greek Life to the LGBT Center there is a plethora of things to get involved with! I especially love spending time in the LGBT Center with all the students. Never a more entertaining day than when I get to see them!
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE OUT?:
Being out can be a lot to ask of someone, especially someone who is still trying to figure out who they are in a world where people are consistently unaccepting. But coming out is the most powerful and the most liberating thing you can do. By doing so you not only create awareness, you also have access to a whole new world of support, education, and love. In my experience the benefits of coming out will always be better than having to hide who you are.
WHY ARE YOU PROUD?:
I am proud because of everything I have done up to this point has not only made me a better person, but I am also proud of how the communities I have been a part of have continued to grow since I have left them. I am proud that people will continue to step up to fight to make society better.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART ABOUT COMING OUT?:
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WHO COME OUT?:
Don't do it until you're ready and don't think you have to tell everyone all at once! Test it out with a friend first and you can work your way through it. This is your story to share, and it's nobody's business until you tell them yourself. And above all, just remember there will always be someone there to help. You just have to know where to look, but the resources are there!
THOUGHTS FOR NON-LGBT PEOPLE ABOUT LGBT PEOPLE AND CONCERNS:
Never reveal that someone is LGBTQA. You are not the one who would have to deal with the repercussions, nor is it your business to let other people know. You are a friend that they have trusted, listen to them and let them tell you how they need your support! If you don't know, ask!