I’m a lesbian member on our FRC team, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one, nobody has said otherwise. But despite me being the odd one out, my team has been great with being accepting of my sexuality.
When I came out, it was just to a couple of friends and it wasn’t a big deal or anything. I just went “i’m gay btw haha so how about that water game being confirmed am i right?” and they were cool with it. After that everyone just sort of figured it out. The rookies even figured it out despite me not telling them, they don’t mind at all! My team is so comfortable with me being gay we casually joke about it. They make it clear that they mean no offense and they 100% support me.
The one issue I did have was outing, they did this a lot. I consider myself comfortable with my sexuality, but I want to tell people I’m gay when I’m ready (unless they just figure it out). I don’t want random people knowing this. I’m not trying to say it’s a bad thing you should hide, but it’s just not other people’s business for me personally. They’re getting better at this after I communicated I didn’t like this.
That’s the big key for this: communication. If you are gay, the FIRST community is very welcoming of you and you will almost definitely be accepted. However, you have to communicate with your team the do’s and don'ts. I am more than comfortable with letting my team joke around and even let them say “fag” and “queer”, I say it around them and it’s only fair they do too. But some people are not and that’s fine. Communicate with your team about these kinds of things.
If people don’t support gay rights, that’s honestly fine. We had someone like that on my team. I didn’t bash him, despite my team wanting to for my sake (which was sweet!) and instead just let him get used to my presence. I’m gay and he knows it. By the beginning of the year he 100% did not support gay people, and now he’s saying he does. Even if they don’t end up supporting it, that’s ok. As long as they treat you like a human and don’t be a dick about it.
-Much love from 3735!
Hey! Thanks for sharing your story!
-Kiran L. 2826
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.