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UNT celebrates 29th anniversary of National Coming Out Day

UNT celebrates 29th anniversary of National Coming Out Day

UNT celebrates National Coming Out Day in the library mall on Oct. 11th. Kelsey Shoemaker

UNT celebrates 29th anniversary of National Coming Out Day
October 11
22:53 2017

UNT hosted a number of events in support of National Coming Out Day on Wednesday. Students gathered to share messages of pride and to hear award-winning slam poetry throughout the course of the day.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., tables were stationed at the Library Mall. The Pride Alliance worked with GLAD Legal Advocates and Defenders, a nonprofit legal rights organization, to help get students involved.

Students signed and shared messages of “hope and pride” on the National Coming Out Day door, Kathleen Bond-Hobson, director of Pride Alliance said. This event allowed students to be informed of resources students can communicate with for “in-depth support.”

Bond-Hobson said coming out can be dangerous and often carries repercussions due to the unpredictability of the situation.

“Unlike people of straight, heterosexual or cisgender identities, people of LGBT identities often must ‘come out’ or declare and explain to others their sexuality or gender identity,” Bond-Hobson said.  “National Coming Out Day provides an opportunity for LGBT people to experience ‘coming out’ in a safe and positive environment. We hope that by creating space for students to live as their authentic selves on campus and off, students will be more successful personally and academically.”

Education graduate student Maria Chavez said National Coming Out Day is a good day for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people to come out and express themselves.

“I think UNT is doing a great job here with the signing of the [National Coming Out Day] door,” Chavez said. “We are giving it the attention it deserves.”

During the evening at the University Union, UNT held award-winning slam poet Porsha O for the spoken word event in collaboration with University Program Council. Porsha O is a member of the LGBTQ community and a poet who focuses on applying advanced political analysis to examine injustice while providing perspective on concrete solutions, according to Strength of Doves website

This year marks the 29th anniversary of National Coming Out day, dedicated to raising awareness of civil rights and support for the LGBTQ community, according to Human Rights Campaign. National Coming Out Day was founded by Robert Eichsberg and Jean O’Leary on Oct. 11, 1988, marking the anniversary of the second major National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987, according to American Psychological Association. The 1987 National March was nearly five times the size of the first march held in 1979, with estimates of half a million participants.

Political science senior Morgan Christian recently came out to her family and extended family about being bisexual and is celebrating with the LGBT community on National Coming Out Day for the first time.

“It is nice to have this [National Coming Out Day] door, to see there are all these people here like me,” Christian said. “You don’t necessarily know someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity from their appearance. It is cool to see this as a symbol of people who are out and to know there is a community here.”

Featured Image: UNT celebrates National Coming Out Day in the Library Mall on Oct. 11. Kelsey Shoemaker

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