Hannah Morris said she 'came out' to her mother when she was 14 years old. With October 11 being National Coming Out Day, to Morris, the day is a reminder to how coming out can be a gamble. She said it's not always welcomed with positive reinforcement, but Morris believes she's lucky.
" She [Morris' mother] sat there and she composed herself" Morris said. She said her mother always knew she was gay, but was waiting for her to say something.
October 11 marks the 29th anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Right. Nowadays, the day is usually celebrated by coming out as gay or an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Morris said it's difficult to decide who to share that moment with. Brenda McBride, a counselor in Tyler said it's a moment of vulnerability.
McBride said National Coming Out Day is considered to be a monumental day for someone who's taking the first step in coming out for the first time. At the same time, she said people who are coming out fear of being shamed and rejected by their loved ones.
"Every person struggling with this issue that I've worked with, they just want to be seen and heard and accepted for who they are," McBride said.
To Morris, coming out is also viewed as a form of bravery. She said to come out in East Texas requires much thought. However, she's expressed how she's had time to reflect about representing her true self.