To be gay … or not to be gay? That is my question. Well, not really mine per se, since it has already been answered, but a question I find many people my age asking. Many would agree that the gay community has come a long way from the days of complete social rejection. Homosexuality is becoming a major subject at home, in the classroom, in the work place, in politics, on television and most recently in the courtroom. But has society as a whole fully embraced gay life? Or is it just a fad?Coming out for me was not disclosing my sexuality to my parents nor was it telling my friends, it was telling it to myself. I found that being able to stand in front of the mirror and say, “I’m gay” was the pinnacle of my self-acceptance. The notion of being gay took me a while to fully grasp, but provided me much needed peace within myself. I believe that my upbringing aided me in discovering my identity at an earlier age. Living in New York City exposed me to different walks of life and enabled me to understand them, which in turn led me to accept others freely and without hesitation. Arriving at UR, my personal microcosm of the world, made me realize how unbelievably fortunate I was to have had such a stable “coming out.” Many are forced not to tell their parents or friends, while others have been affected so much by societal constructs that the notion of being a homosexual is shot down subconsciously before it’s even thought of. Parents obviously play a large role in the self-evaluation their children undergo. Gays often find it difficult to disclose their sexuality to their parents, who they are most afraid of disappointing.Establishing and being secure with one’s sexual identity will make it easier for parents and friends to not only understand, but also begin to accept one’s sexuality. I am proud to say that I was able to identify myself as gay before college, but it’s time for others to come forward.But no need to worry, because at any given moment, the epiphany will arrive. Though the “coming out” process will be an emotionally draining roller coaster, the outcome will be a success, filled with more self-respect, admiration and inner peace.And with National Coming Out Day being commemorated on Oct. 11, I would like everyone to evaluate and re-discover themselves. You never know what you may find – gay or not.What’s in store for the growing gay community? Only time and society will tell. So this is my message – being gay isn’t a choice. Coming out is.Buitrago can be reached at

5 students banned from campus for Gaza solidarity encampment

UR has been banning community members from campus since November for on-campus protests, but the first bans for current students were issued this weekend.

Live updates: Wallis Hall sit-ins

Editor’s Note (5/4/24): This article is no longer being updated. For our most up to date coverage, look for articles…

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.