National Coming Out Day
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 18:10
National Coming Out Day celebrates coming out in the LGBT community. ETSU’s celebration was held on Oct. 9.
The actual date of National Coming Out Day was Oct. 11 but due to fall break the university celebrated early. This is the university’s second year participating in the celebration.
“If people don’t know someone who identifies in the LGBT community, it may be easy for them to hold prejudices,” Akasha McReynolds, president of Helping to Educate Regarding Orientation Equality and the Spectrum said. “but knowing someone, having that personal connection, changes the way people view the LGBT community. It lessens the distance between ‘us’ and ‘them’.”
The events were hosted by H.E.R.O.E.S. Multicultural Affairs, Female Majority Leadership Alliance, Women’s Studies and various other organizations came together as co-sponsors to make the celebration a success.
The day started out with a “Coming Out” board put together by H.E.R.O.E.S. Students could pin up note cards with whatever they decided to come out as. The note cards had everything from gay to bisexual to Pokémon trainer. The day’s events culminated with a candlelight vigil, which was held in Borchuck Plaza.
The goal of National Coming Out Day is simple: to educate people about the community and spread awareness about the groups that are available to them.
“We hope that students will gain a better knowledge and appreciation for the courage it takes to come out and know that coming out is an important process and does make a difference,” McReynolds said.
Lauren Redden, secretary of H.E.R.O.E.S. said that the group wants to “spread awareness of the community, kind of bridge the gap, because there are a lot of us. We just want to educate.”
Elementary Education student, Sarah Smith supported the events wholeheartedly.
“I’m really glad they’re doing this,” she said. “You are who you are and that’s all you can be. It’s more for awareness and it helps people who are questioning.”