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By L. Anne Newell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 10, 1997

National Coming Out Day: a time for acceptance


Chris Richards
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Scott McMahon

"Everyone who's come out has lost someone from their personal life," said Sarah Ballard, a psychology sophomore, who came out as lesbian after graduating from a small Christian high school in Georgia.

"A huge part of my life was never discussed," she said, recalling when the school board expelled a student her sophomore year on discovering he was gay.

"At that point I realized I could never talk to anyone at school."

Saturday is National Coming Out Day, an event co-founded October 11, 1988 by gay activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O'Leary.

Marking the anniversary of the 1987 Gay and Lesbian March on Washington D.C., the University of Arizona gay and lesbian community will hold a gay pride celebration on the Mall today for the seventh consecutive year.

Ballard stressed coming out is not about a single day.

"You have to come out to people every day for the rest of your life, and make political statements about love, which seems so personal," she said.

She said National Coming Out Day can be used as a way to combat ignorance.

"People don't realize what it's like," she said.

Scott McMahon was the captain of two sports teams and active in athletics when he

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