TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Friday is National Coming Out day, a day of celebrating for members of the LGBTQ community.
However, there are some challenges the community still faces, as Kevin Nickels and Camron Pardum explain.
“It's already very difficult to come out as an LGBTQ person," Nickels said. "For me, it means, it's really an opportunity for a lot of people who haven't come out yet, to kind of mark that in their calendar I should say, to feel a little more comfortable to have people be a little bit more aware that this is something that is pretty powerful and what we need in our communities."
Nickels talked about his coming out experience.
“I grew up in the LDS church. I always knew I was gay. There was never a question in my mind that I wasn't,” Nickels said, adding, “When I was first having these feelings, there was a very high suicide rate, especially in states like Utah, much of like where there's strong religious backgrounds. So for me my parents said, 'We know from God that you're our son. We love you. And the last thing we want is for you to hurt yourself.' So there was always a loving embrace with my parents on that."
Camron Pardum, who also goes by the drag name Empryean, said that there’s a one big thing going on as well.
“The Department of Justice with the Supreme Court taking back and reviewing cases where two different people were fired based on being gay and lesbian," Pardum said. "In today's world that's a big issue because we don't have any laws against workforce discrimination, where you can be fired for being a part of the LGBTQ plus community."
That includes Idaho and 30 other states in the country.