Today is National Coming Out Day, the annual celebration of LGBT folks’ dreams of living freely. Since its inception in 1988, the day has come to have multiple meanings for different various communities whose politics intersect with those of the mainstream LGBT movement. That’s been especially true in recent years for undocumented youth, many of whom have proudly come out as “UndocuQueer.”
Earlier this year, the “I Am UndocuQueer” art project collected some of these stories by joining up with the Undocumented Queer Youth Collective and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project. Here are a few of the posters from fellow UndocuQueer artist Julio Salgado:
Several UndocQueer folks have also been involved with our Drop The I-Word campaign. Fernanda Marroquin shared her coming out story last March, writing that it’s been “a long process for me to come out of the shadows for both identities.”
This morning on Facebook, journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas shared his story and asked others to share theirs, writing:
So we’re echoing that call. Whether or not you’re undocumented, send us you story in the comments!
HAPPY COMING OUT DAY—to all my gay brothers and sisters and my undocumented brothers and sisters!
To me and many others, “coming out” carries two different yet similar meanings. In 1999, after watching a documentary on Harvey Milk during my U.S. History class, I raised my hand in the back of the class and told my classmates I am gay.
Some 12 years later, I came out about my undocumented status not only in a newspaper article but also on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
I wonder, to all the undocumented youth out there who are open about their status, why did you come out? And who did you first tell about your undocumented status?
Share your story, please.