The Center for IDEAs hosts annual Coming Out Monologues event

The university celebrates National Coming Out day with an open mic event.


Eston Parker III

Students walk next to the housing lawn. Photo by Eston Parker III.

Gregory Rodriguez, Contributing Writer

National Coming Out Day was on Oct. 11, and to celebrate it the Center for Inclusion, Diversity Education and Advocacy (IDEA) hosted its annual Coming Out Monologues event. Chelsea Lynn Green, an intern at the office, hosted the event that was aimed to create a safe space for questioning individuals and those who are already out to share their coming out experiences. Green began with a poem she wrote herself, about how coming out is a process that takes time.

Green was surprised at the number of students that attended, claiming she only expected a handful of them at most.

“Honestly I wasn’t expecting anything more than four or five people, because we kept posting on social media and nobody responded except for the student we set to perform,” said Green. 

The event consisted of 18 attendees which were mostly queer or femme-aligned women that observed the performance and shared their personal experiences overall.

After Green’s poetry performance, she opened up the floor for attendees in the room to share their coming out stories. One student had her poem read out loud by Green, because she refused to go up. Another student went up and spoke candidly about their own personal coming out experience.

The event also featured guest keynote speeches from FAU staff who openly identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. One of those speakers was Diana Sumlin, a staff member at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office on campus. They were able to use the event as a way of shining a light on self-care.

“It’s super important to be aware of what’s happening inside of you,” said Sumlin. 

Sumlin also detailed her life as well as her experiences with lesbophobia, a type of homophobia directed specifically towards lesbians. She introduced the entire room to her wife and kids which sat in the back of the room.

The event concluded with a final address from Nicole Morse, a genderqueer professor at the university. They detailed their own experiences with coming out.

“I would slip lesbian romance fiction in between the books I would use to study. So when my parents would look through the stack of books they’d say, ‘oh well look she’s studying very hard so that’s good,’” said Morse. 

During their address, they encouraged the students in the room to be true to themself.

Morse expressed how they’ve thoroughly enjoyed the coming out process, detailing that they like finding out new things about themselves.

“I’ve discovered being genderqueer and I’m really enjoying discovering that part about myself,” said Morse. 

The Center for IDEAs invites students to attend their upcoming events for this month such as Queer Coffee Hour on Oct. 21 for LGBTQ+ spirit day and its 11th annual drag show on Oct. 22 to promote LGBTQ+ advocacy. 


Gregory Rodriguez is a contributing writer for the University Press. To reach her about this or other stories, you can contact them at [email protected]