Friday, May 31, 2019

Detroit students kick off Pride Month with Coming Out Wall at Affirmations

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 1:08 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY AMANDA SINISHTAJ
  • Photo by Amanda Sinishtaj


On Thursday, a student-created "Coming Out Wall" was presented during the Launch of Pride Month at the LGBTQ+ organization Affirmations in Ferndale.



Being a teenager isn’t easy; those four years of high school are often filled with exploring sexuality, navigating new relationships, and transitioning from an adolescent to an adult. For the students of Renaissance High School in Detroit — who first created the wall in October at their school — this isn’t something they wanted their peers to go through alone.

Madison Bryant-Carter, a 10th grade student at Renaissance High, says her teacher, Mr. Goodall, helped create the Coming Out Wall.

“We wanted a way that everyone could get everything off of their chest without being targeted," says Bryant-Carter. "Mr. Goodall was like, 'What if we could have anonymous messages?' and then we put a box outside of his room with markers and paper."

Students submitted over 225 anonymous Post-it Notes with their biggest secrets, insecurities, and struggles written on them.

On Thursday, students, family, faculty, and community members gathered at Affirmations for a panel discussion about the wall. Students addressed a variety of topics in the notes, including sexuality. Some notes explored family matters at home, while many other notes discussed mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY AMANDA SINISHTAJ
  • Photo by Amanda Sinishtaj


Directly across from the Coming Out Wall, students responded to those secrets with reassuring messages.

“Dear, I am too afraid to fail, I literally have the same fear. That’s why I try so hard at everything I do...” one anonymous student wrote.

“I feel like it gives everyone that reads it a perspective of caring for another human being and having compassion toward one another,” says Bryant-Carter.

This is the first piece of urban student artwork that Affirmations has featured in its exhibit. The Coming Out Wall is expected to be visited by 30,000 people this weekend, as the city will be hosting Ferndale Pride on June 1.


For more information about Affirmations, visit https://www.goaffirmations.org.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY AMANDA SINISHTAJ
  • Photo by Amanda Sinishtaj

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