ABSTRACT

As part of National Coming Out Day in fall 2014, the QSA organization on campus organized a poster campaign in which individuals came out in various ways and in differing roles (i.e., as mentors, allies, and scholars). These posters were put up throughout the campus and from what I can see so far, they are still up. This is surprising on a campus that seems liberal but where the climate is not. In my particular poster, I wrote, “. . . for me it is important that if I am going to stand in front of a class and talk to students about challenging systems of oppression and fight for social justice, then I must practice what I preach.” This was one of the

reasons I decided to come out. What are yours? This is the most important question you must ask yourself if you plan on coming out as an LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer) faculty of color. For me, coming out on campus and in the classroom was also about challenging my students “so that schooling is not the site where students are indoctrinated to support imperialist whitesupremacist capitalist patriarchy or any ideology, but rather where they learn to open their minds, to engage in rigorous study and to think critically” (hooks, 2003, p. xiii). My coming out became a platform to work with my students.