National Coming Out Day took place on Wednesday and students alongside the LGBT Center celebrated by hosting an event on the CSU lawn. National Coming Out Day is a national holiday dedicated to the awareness of the LGBT community and anyone who has or will “come out of the closet.”
Director of the LGBT Center on campus, Zeke Sorenson, said plenty of effort went into organizing the event.
“We have a coming out display that we like to call the Wall of Support with photos and messages of support from students and staff,” Sorenson said.
Sorenson also said that the act of coming out plays a crucial role in the history of LGBT Civil Rights.
“We also have what we call the wall of progress which includes some LGBT history tied to coming out and the evolution of what coming out has been historically and what it is now,” said Sorenson. “We include how the significance of coming out, especially in modern times, had played in the progress of LGBTQ+ Civil Rights in the United States.”
Finally, Sorenson said the LGBT center would show support to others no matter which stage of coming out they may be in.
“We also have some information about coming out as well as guides for coming out,” said Sorenson. “Whether it’s somebody who is navigating the coming out process, thinking of coming out or just unsure, there are some information and resources for that. There are also information and resources for people who have somebody come out to them in order to navigate that process and best support a loved one or friend who is coming out.”
The Director said that the day is a celebration and an important one to symbolize support for the community.
“For me, it’s a time to celebrate but also to support,” said Sorenson. “Especially in my role here, it’s to let students know that no matter what stage in the coming out process that they are in, there is a space for them and they are valued.”
The event included hot dogs and cotton candy as well as music to provide a fun and welcoming environment. Students taking part in the celebration said that the day holds a lot of importance to themselves and others.
“I think it’s important since it’s a way of saying I’m here and I’m not leaving the space any time soon,” said Abby Andree, Vice President of Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE). “It’s important for students to have that visibility right in front of them so that they are able to understand that this is a big part of a lot of people on campus.”
MSU History student, Brooke Van Gelderen, said that the awareness of the day is important to herself and others.
“I think it’s really awesome that we have this day,” said Van Gelderen. “It brings more visibility to the subject.”
For those interested, the LGBT Center on campus is located in CSU 194 and is open to all students.
Header photo: National Coming Out Day was celebrated outside of the Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State’s campus. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)
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