By Connor Park (@ConnorPark1876)
Today marks ‘World Coming Out Today,’ it’s a chance for many to raise awareness of issues that result from coming out in today’s society, but one Ayrshire student claims that more needs to be done on a smaller scale to address those issues.
Nathan Bone, the former president of LGBT Plus Society at University of the West of Scotland, Ayr believes that while initiatives such as World Coming Out Day are positive, but it is issues at a local level that can the most problems. He said:
“It’s nice to have the big events to raise awareness, but most homophobia generally happens at a micro level. People challenge homophobia now, but a lot of people still have a level of bias.
“Days like this are definitely a positive to try and help awareness. Everyone has to come out in their own way, people shouldn’t have to come out if they don’t feel they can though.
“Doing smaller scale events and reaching out to more people on a smaller platform you can have a one to one conversation to challenge people’s opinions.”
The 20-year old believes that groups such as the LGBT society in Ayr can provide a support network for those who are still in the process of coming out, while being active in raising awareness of issues within society. He commented:
“Groups can work really well as it doesn’t need to know that you’re there. It’s a chance for people to talk without necessarily making a big deal out of things.
“If you need a way to find people that are like you then it’s a place to go it was a great experience.
“We worked closely last year with the student body and as part of that we tried to get transgender friendly toilets; we have them in the Student Union in Paisley and are trying to push other projects forward that will raise awareness.”
Having had experience of coming out himself the student is clear in his views that it is vital that people have the support to come out and express who they really are. He added:
“If people can and they feel like it would benefit them then they need to do it as it’s so much easier and better when you’re not hiding who you are to everyone it’s some much easier to live freely.”