A 20-year-old student from Utah received an outpouring of support from her friends online, after she accidentally revealed to her religious father on National Coming Out Day in the US that she was bisexual. Ashlyn Smith recalled that she was terrified and panicky when her father saw on his Facebook news feed her reply to an anonymous post that she goes for both males and females.

Smith and her family belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Her father’s initial reaction was to tell her, through a text message, to remove her Facebook post about playing for both teams.

He then said they would talk about it.

Love and acceptance

The social media page serves as a communications tool utilized by students at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where Smith was studying. Ashlyn was able to heave a sigh of relief when he stated in a reassuring manner that they were going to figure out the matter together, after which he expressed his love for her whatever the situation.

Ashlyn Smith received lots of comments on Twitter after the incident. She tweeted how her best friend and roommates showed their support for her. She has also been expressing gratitude to the individuals who have been sending her positive messages. Ashlyn tweeted, “a weight has been lifted” off her shoulders.

She enthused how wonderful it is to be surrounded by people who love and accept her.

Coming out

The phrase “coming out” has become widely used.

It connotes voluntarily disclosing or confirming one’s sexual orientation or Gender Identity.

National Coming Out Day is an annual awareness day that celebrates individuals who come out. Originating in the US, it is the brainchild of American lesbian and gay rights activist Jean O’Leary and the late psychologist Robert Eichberg.

Since the last National Coming Out Day celebration, around two dozen key personalities in the entertainment industry and sports arena have come out. These celebrities include Brandon Flynn, Aaron Carter, Thomas Dekker, Brian Michael Smith, Jake Zyrus, Sue Bird, Natalie Morales, and Barry Manilow to name some.

Some of these celebrities have admitted to taking a long time before opening up about their gender identities and orientation for fear that they might disappoint their fans. A handful of them even reached past their prime and the zenith of their careers before publicly coming out and admitting their sexual preference. Just like Ashlyn Smith, most of them received comforting and reassuring words from friends when they came out.