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Photos courtesy Tet Millare

The Coming Out Monologues continue to shine after ninth year

By Trevor Landsburg, March 28 2018 —

The Coming Out Monologues returned for its ninth year in Calgary, celebrating the voices of LGBTQ+ people in our city. Inspired by a similar event from the University of California, the first U of C Coming Out Monologues was a single night where performers “came out,” revealing their sexual identity through powerful speeches. The event was so popular that it became an annual event at the University of Calgary, growing so much that it moved off campus by 2013. 

The 2018 Coming Out Monologues ran in the John Dutton Theatre downtown from March 21–23. The event included a variety of performances including spoken word, dance and performance art that celebrated the diversity of sexual and gender expression within the LGBTQ+ community. 

Performer Hanako Rodgers, who was involved with the project for the first time this year, says the event had a powerful impact on them.

“I’ve had an amazing experience with the Coming Out Monologues,” Rodgers says. “It’s been so affirming and validating to spend time with some amazing individuals on a weekly basis. It’s helped me feel more comfortable not only in my writing but with my identity as well. It’s been so lovely to share our vulnerability with each other.”


For Rodgers, having a supportive community of queer people is extremely important and the Coming Out Monologues is an expression of that community.

“The queer community as a whole is so welcoming and so validating, and the Coming Out Monologues crew is no different,” Rogers says. “By the end of the of the last performance, we learned so much about each other. We were vulnerable with each other, we all experienced a whole array of feelings and we were so proud of each other.”

The Coming Out Monologues focus on the power of individual stories and how community can be found through the expression of personal experiences. Performer Mel Vee was inspired to be part of the Coming Out Monologues after attending the 2017 performances and coming out as bisexual. 

“I did not realize how much I needed the Coming Out Monologues until I saw my fellow performers on the stage the Wednesday night, sharing their hearts and being vulnerable. That’s when it hit,” Vee says. “At first I felt like I was ‘using’ the experience or taking up space, but then I realized that is probably internalized biphobia cropping up and I learned to trust the experience and acknowledged that I have something valuable to offer and receive.”


For many LGBTQ+ people, coming out and voicing their story in the community is invaluable and lifesaving but requires external support. Vee speaks to the importance of backing the event.

“Support the Coming Out Monologues! Having your being and identity affirmed can be life-saving for LGBTQ folks,” Vee says. “Support the work of QTPOC [queer, trans, people of colour]. We’re marginalized in complex ways and we need support.”

Both Vee and Rodgers emphasize the sense of community the Coming Out Monologues provided them with.

“Most of the performers are so open to friendship, building community and supporting each other in our various endeavours, both queer and not,” Vee says.

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