THE PACE CHRONICLE

LGBTQIA+ Students Write Emotional Anonymous Letters to Family Members they are Not Out to for National Coming Out Day

Empowering those who are not out in certain spaces on National Coming Out Day.

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LGBTQIIA students wrote anonymous coming out letters to family members they are not out to. Read their emotional and impacting stories.

LGBTQIIA students wrote anonymous coming out letters to family members they are not out to. Read their emotional and impacting stories.

Pace.edu

Pace.edu

LGBTQIIA students wrote anonymous coming out letters to family members they are not out to. Read their emotional and impacting stories.

Kwadar Ray, Managing Editor

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Think back: It is second grade, and all the boys in your class are beginning to develop crushes on girls. In that moment, you realize you are different from the others. That was the case for now-sophomore and early childhood education major Michael Cuiffo. By fifth grade, he knew he was gay and a few years later, it was time to come out to his immediate family.

For Cuiffo, this process was far from easy. He did not know how family members would react. From what he saw in the media, there were two extreme reactions from families on opposite sides: either great joy or unadulterated anger. He experienced the “happy medium” where most family members were not surprised and let him know he would not be treated any differently.

The sophomore has always been one to embrace uniqueness and everyone being true to themselves. Cuiffo is proudly openly gay and happily catholic, and he does not see it as an issue like others may. However, despite the liberating and relieving feeling of being out and be accepted by his religious family members, he knows it is a difficult process that everyone must take step-by-step.

“My advice for anyone who is coming out, in whatever respect they need to come out, would probably be to be brave,” he said. “If it’s your time, if you feel that you know for yourself that, ‘this is who I am, this is true to me,’ once you reached that point, anytime after that, it’s up to you when you choose to come out,” he said. “It’s absolutely normal to be terrified before telling anyone. I told my entire extended family before I told my immediate family because I was so terrified.”

Michael Cuiffo. Photo credit: Jacqueline Bethea and Julia Kennedy.

Cuiffo had as much advice to those who are not out yet, as he did for those who are already out that do not recognize the privilege they possess.

“To the people that are already out, I find it so disrespectful shaming people in the closet saying, ‘Hey come out already’ or ‘You’re just talking to us, why not be yourself?'” he began. “People in the closet are still coming to terms themselves. I personally don’t understand why we call it a closet, but I came up with my own definition: They call it a closet because when you go into the closet, you pick out what you want to wear, you pick out what you’re going to change into and that’s you. That’s you for the day, that’s what people will remember you for that day. And they call it the closet because you’re wearing your identity, those are your clothes, that’s what you’re wearing when you step out of a closet. And just how you’re waiting for your friend to get ready, you’re not going to make them come in and out of the closet showing you every little thing they’re wearing, you’re going to wait for them to come out of the closet so you can just go and that’s really what you need to focus on.”


Thursday is National Coming Out Day; a day dedicated to those in the LGBTQIA+ [queer] community to come out of the closet and let the world know about their true selves. However, as Cuiffo discussed, coming out is a very complex situation. It is never as simple as waking up one day, acknowledging you are different and letting everyone know. It is a difficult process that individuals must approach at their own pace.

Just because someone is out in certain spaces, it does not mean they are out everywhere. Sadly, some members in the community cannot come out based on the possible reactions they will receive; ranging from disappointment to flat out disowning. So instead of strictly dedicating this day to those who are already out in all spaces, The Pace Chronicle asked queer students at Pace to write anonymous letters to family members they have always wanted to come out to, but have not been able to. Here are the passionate and touching letters from multiple students to those they love:


Dear Mom and Dad,

This letter is to my biggest supporters and my biggest enemies. You guys have supported me through everything yet I keep getting this constant fear. This constant fear that if I’m different than the rest, that I am worth less. To allow this fear to overcome my whole life is disgusting. You guys have always taught me that other people are beautiful for different but why should I not get the same praise. Well, I have a surprise for you guys: I’m pansexual. Pansexual is the sexual orientation of having the capability to see past all physical traits and fall in love with someone for their soul, their personality, their very essence. I know that this is difficult to explain, especially in Spanish. You guys have always put your religious and cultural beliefs on me and for once, I wish to not be another number in the world. I am me. I am beautiful. I am still the same person you guys gave birth to. I am still the same smile that I give to both of you when I say “I love you.” I am still a friend, an ally, a proud Hispanic. I will always have respect for you guys and all I can wish is for you guys to do the same. So many people have been removed from our family for being a different sexual orientation other than heterosexual. Well, I am your son and I am not heterosexual. This societal strain of hating yourself for being different is over. I am who I am, love it or leave it.

With Regards,

A human being

The Pansexual flag.


Dear Mom and Dad,

I have something to tell you. I’m bisexual. I know that you won’t be happy to hear that. I’m sorry that you disapprove of the “gays.” I’m sorry you can’t accept me in the way I’ve accepted myself. Honestly I don’t know if you would still love me if I told you my sexuality. I don’t know if I ever will come out to you. I’m too scared I would rock our precarious boat. Maybe one day you’ll come to understand that the queer community isn’t tainted. Until then, I’ll be sitting in the closet.

Love,

Your Shell of a Daughter


Dear Parishioners of my Church,

If I could come out to you all, then hopefully you’ll accept me. You may not agree with my sexual orientation, but this is who I am. I was born this way, and I can’t change. No matter what you say about God not liking the LGBTQA community, I know that He still loves me and that I shouldn’t care what you all think of me.

Love,

Anonymous


Dear Mom and Dad,

I am sorry I wasn’t the son you wanted, but if you would have let me, I could have been a great daughter.

Love,

Anonymous

The Transgender flag.


Dear Mom,

You’ve always talked about how much you respect what other people like, I just hope that you can do the same for me. I’m Bisexual, meaning I like both men and women. This is new to me and it would mean a lot to me if you support me on this journey. I love you so much.

Sincerely,

Your daughter


Dear Uncle C,

I wish that I was out to you so you would stop asking me if I have a boyfriend at Thanksgiving.

Yours truly,

Your lesbian niece


Dear Mom and Dad,

I’ve never known how to tell you this. I don’t even know if I ever will. I’ve always thought maybe I won’t have to, but I’m bisexual. It means I like girls and boys. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t told you. I’m so worried you won’t even understand what that means. Maybe you won’t take it seriously, maybe you’ll be angry, maybe it’d be okay because I’m still your daughter, maybe it would be terrible and you could never look at me again. The maybes are what keep me up at night. The maybes are what scare me more than anything. Every day I want to tell you. Somehow, someway I feel like you would just give me a hug and say, “Okay, sweetie. I still love you.” But maybe, you wouldn’t. I love you both so much that it would kill me if it didn’t turn out that way, if things went poorly. I know you believe that being gay is wrong. I want to believe I would be the exception, like those stories online of people who had parents who thought being gay was awful and then that all changed when their child came out and now they’re all for gay rights. I don’t think that would happen, though. I really don’t know. I basically wanted to tell you all of this because hiding a part of myself that is so important is awful. You always said you would love me no matter what, and I hope that’s true. Maybe one day I’ll get the courage to say this all out loud. I’m bisexual. I’m the same me I always have been, and I love you both.

Love,
Your Daughter


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