Junior Tricia Tolles has been an inspiration for many students at Ledyard High School. After recently coming out about her sexuality, she has set a prime example that she hopes others will follow. The message is clear- be yourself. Tolles has generously agreed to open up about her personal experiences to help support the overall theme of homosexuality and same sex marriage.
Like many people in Ledyard, Tricia had some initial fears before coming out. Although she knew her friends would love her just the same, she was still nervous. What was even more stressful was telling her family, even though they were extremely supportive. Notably, Tolles said, “The potential of someone you love not accepting you for who you are is terrifying.” However, she encourages anyone struggling to not be afraid. Since opening up about her sexuality, Tolles has lived an identical life, with only minor changes regarding her overall outlook.
Tolles describes her experience as very “natural and fluid.” To further explain, she adds,”There was no girl that I suddenly found myself having a crush on, or a scarring experience that ‘turned me gay.'” Tolles found herself, through what she refers to as an epiphany. Her experience appears to have been a good one, leaving her with no regrets and a bright future ahead.
Tricia boldly admitted her sexuality on Facebook; many students looked up to this as a significant step toward equality. After telling her family and closest friends, she realized it would be less stressful to get everything out in the open instead of explaining to everybody. The support she received online was tremendous; everybody, some not even her close friends, showed their advocacy through uplifting comments- one of which reads, “Best way to come out. You go girl.” (Sophomore Anna Lindh).
Tolles hopes that after learning about her experience, people will feel more comfortable about coming out. Her advice is, “There’s nothing fun about hiding yourself, and it’s not a good place to be; it’s just static. Unless coming out will put you in harm’s way, then please think about doing it.” She has proved that if you have good friends, they will accept you for whatever you choose to identify yourself as. Tolles has overcome what many consider the unthinkable, much less unspeakable; it is this type of bravery that makes her the person she is today- someone who loves herself inside and out.
Samantha Barnes, Staff Writer
Junior Samantha Barnes is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She competes all over New England with her three horses and plays basketball at school.