hi everyone! first off, love the blog so I’m the lead student of my robotics team of 50+ students and about 15-20 mentors. I’m a closeted lesbian and I’m scared they’ll take away my leadership position If I come out. what should I do? (NH team)
Hello! Thanks for loving our blog! FIRST (haha puns) of all, you don’t have to come out unless you want to and are ready. If you’re afraid, don’t do it, but coming out isn’t some big gesture like it is in the movies. You don’t have to come out to everyone at once. With 15-20 mentors, odds are that at least one mentor is also LGBT+. Still, if that mentor isn’t out, it could be hard trying to figure out who it is. My personal advice is to test the waters. Discuss LGBT+ issues and topics with a friend or mentor on the team. If that friend or mentor seems supportive and trustworthy, you can decide to come out to them. If that mentor or friend is homophobic, don’t come out.
Make a T chart and list all the negatives and positives to coming out. If you feel that coming out is safe and good, you still shouldn’t risk your safety and well-being. Try coming out to one person first, and hopefully through them you can find a group that supports you.
If you want to come out to your whole team, keep in mind people will have questions and people might be rude. Stay strong but always have a backup plan. If your school has a school psychologist, meeting with them before coming out to make sure you’re ready and make sure nothing you say to your team will negatively effect your home life or life outside of the team. If you’re not out to your parents and you feel that coming out to the team will inadvertently out you to your parents, take that in mind.
If you find that coming out would harm you more than help you, know that being out doesn’t make you more or less LGBT+. Your identity is valid.
Whatever you chose, know that we support you. The world is changing and you might be surprised at the support you receive. Chances are that you’ll be okay and coming out won’t rid you of your leadership position. Just always be prepared and have a back up plan just in case. If you have any more questions, feel free to shoot us another ask and we’ll try to respond quickly.
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ participants in FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST was started to spread visibility of the LGBTQ+ community within FIRST and help teams become safe spaces for their members.