Coming Out Gave Confidence

Camm Pollmacher, Feature Writer

While most kids were worried about the next video game, or not failing their math test. Sophomores Travell Dunn and Rennesha Riggins were worried about how they would come out as part of the LGBT community.

During their coming out process, Dunn and Riggins became friends while attending Parker Junior High School. They attribute the longevity of their friendship to their different personalities and how they compliment each other.

“Rennesha is like a second mother, because she is always looking out for her friends,” Dunn said.

Dunn is an artistic boy who loves track, painting, and photography. He said he knew he was bisexual since a little boy, but could only bring himself to tell some friends.

Dunn eventually found the courage to come out at the age of 12 after his mother came into his room, sat him down, and asked if he liked boys. He was worried how she would deal with the touchy topic, but decided it was time to come out.

“I will deal with it as long as you keep your dignity,” Dunn’s mother said.

Knowing who you are and having to explain it to others can be difficult, especially to people you call friends. However, when friends like Riggins are a constant support system, things seem to become a little easier.

“We hit it off, became friends and have been [friends] ever since,” Dunn said.

Riggins is a girl who likes to dance to hip hop, sing R&B, and write poetry.

She has never had any interest in boys, but at 12-years-old, she experienced a deep crush on a girl.

Riggins decided she was tired of hiding her true identity, so she went to her mom and decided to tell her that she was a lesbian. Her mother was very accepting and gave Riggins the courage to tell her whole family.

Riggins family was very embracing with her preferences, yet some of her cousins weren’t as accepting and slowly broke off. Luckily, Riggins cousins didn’t have a huge affect on her journey.

“I have factors and non factors in my life. They were like the non factors,” Riggins said.

Riggins then came out to her friends, one of which was Dunn. While most were accepting, there were a few that drifted off. However, Dunn and Riggins remain very confident in who they are and who they have chosen to love.

Social Worker Phillip Barker is dedicated to help kids become more confident in themselves. He has created a program for LGBT kids to give advice to each other.

“It’s a time for kids to come to a safe place within the school day and talk about issues related to sexual identities that fall out of the heteronormative spectrum,” Barker said.

Email Barker if you’re LGBT and want to become more confident in yourself.