By Michelle Lampariello
Heartwarming and heartbreaking stories were at the center of PRISM’s annual Coming Out Monologues. On Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Thursday, Oct. 6, the Library Auditorium was packed with students eager to hear them.
Audience members found themselves laughing and crying during the monologues. Themes of struggle, betrayal and bullying were present in many stories, as the speakers described their journey to find acceptance and happiness. Still, the overall mood of the monologues was inspiring and empowering.
“Spoiler alert — gender is fake,” said Sarah Melamed, a speaker and senior psychology and criminology double major.
The comment generated a round of laughter from the audience, but Melamed’s story quickly turned serious. Melamed went on to describe the pain of never having the chance to come out to their late mother, who also identified as queer.
This year, veteran Coming Out Monologues speaker Rosie Driscoll, a junior history and women’s and gender studies double major, elaborated on her monologue from last year.
“What I didn’t talk about during that process was how I was feeling, and sort of the role of fear in my coming out process,” Driscoll said. “The first feeling I felt when I realized I liked girls was fear.”
Driscoll had an interesting issue to overcome when she moved into her residence hall during her freshman year.
“I was really afraid that I was going to be the only person on my floor — on my all-girls floor — who wasn’t straight,” Driscoll said.
However, Driscoll and the other speakers made it clear that the College is a generally welcoming and friendly community. Through organizations like PRISM, students on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum have a place to go that feels like home, one speaker said.
Support for the LGBTQIA+ community is not limited to PRISM. Several of the College’s clubs and organizations co-sponsored this year’s Coming Out Monologues and attended the event.
The event ultimately served as a source of support and inspiration for all students, and not just those on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
Driscoll touched on the coexistence of students of all sexual orientations.
“When I was applying to colleges, an older guy in my church who I had looked up to a lot pulled me aside,” Driscoll said. “He heard I was applying to… a women’s college, and wanted me to know that the lesbians might recruit me.”