Sunday Oct. 11 is an important date to the LGBTQ+ community. On that day in 1987, their Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place––colloquially referred to as the “The Great March.” A year later, Oct. 11 was officially coined National Coming Out Day.
This year’s fall break marks the 27th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. Geneseo’s Office of Multicultural Programs and Services decided to celebrate this by setting up an event that welcomed all.
Occurring on Wednesday Oct. 6 in the MacVittie College Union Mosaic Room, the event was alive with laughter as people started to file in. Senior Leah Collazo introduced the event as a Multicultural Office Fellow and shared her personal experience with the group. Collazo explained how this day reminds her of her own personal experience with coming out and how great it was to have a supportive community in this time in her life. After her talk, others gathered around the whiteboard and explained their own connection with the historic day.
There was a lot of brainstorming that went into creating the event. Some ideas were a movie and a discussion. The group decided, however, that the open and passive setup was the best way to accomplish the welcoming environment the Multicultural Department aimed to provide.
“This event is so effective because it relates to today’s events,” Diversity Program assistant junior Fellow Cynthia Medina said. Medina went on to explain that with celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner showing their own pride, it helps others to be more confident in coming out.
The LGBTQ+ community is very supportive with those who may have trouble with coming out. “This is just a preview of Geneseo’s Pride,” Medina said.
She explained that there has been change—especially in the past few years—with the acceptance and support of the LGBTQ+ community. Medina remarked how there is a surprising amount of people comfortable with coming out—something that may have been nearly impossible for some to do in the past with less supportive peers.
“There are people out there that want to see change,” Medina said. “I support them and want them to know I’m their ally. And for those who are nervous about coming out: you’re going to have to deal, because we share this society. So put your name out there; be known.”