To celebrate #NationalComingOutDay yesterday, here is a Coming Out story from Blake Bonkowski - CAS Academic Adviser, COM 1100 Instructor (he/him/his) and OU alumni! Thanks for sharing Blake and thanks for all you do for students at OU!
"I came out at OU before anywhere else. The Gender and Sexuality Center provided me the community and space I needed to explore my sexual orientation and gender identity, try out new names and pronouns. There I received the love, respect and knowledge I needed to be able to come out to myself, then my friends in the GSC. Finally, I moved on campus junior year, and began using the name Blake and he/him/his pronouns with the entire campus, even though I wasn't out at home. Living in this Hannah Montana style double life was not easy, but it was what I needed at the time. I needed a safe place to test the waters. To gauge reactions. To gain the vocabulary I'd use for myself. I am proud to be a q***r, FTM transgender person, and part of the OU community. I came back to OU to model to other trans students that we can be successful, happy, and embraced by communities."