Photo Courtesy of Chau Tang

Students write their coming out story on this table

 

Oct 29, 2018

CSU students celebrate annual 'National Coming Out Day'

The chilly wind would not stop students from celebrating the 30th annual National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 at Cleveland State University.
On the anniversary of the National March on Washington for lesbian and gay rights, the National Coming Out Day is a reminder that coming out holds a lot of power for those sharing their truths.
The Cleveland State community came together to celebrate with food, music and laughter. Various tables for buttons, photo booths and a table for students to write their coming out stories were available.
To have a great event, there also had to be a successful process, explained graduate assistant Alex Goebel.
“There were a lot of moving parts in this process,” Goebel said. “We had to reserve tables, budget for catering, the rainbow arch and the list goes on.
“We don’t ask our office assistant student workers to staff it because we want everyone in the community to be able to hang out and enjoy.”
Faculty and others, including Cleveland State President Harlan Sands, munched on snacks such as brownies, macaroons and fruit.
After the hate flier directed toward the LGBTQ+ community appeared on campus last year, the LGBTQ+ Center received enough funding to have two graduate assistants, be open for 40 hours a week and have programming for visibility, awareness and support.
“We want to help the students feel safe and support them,” Goebel said.
“We have also been offering Safe Space Trainings to faculty staff and students to cultivate relationships with various faculty and staff departments to connect students with the necessary resources,” Goebel said.
The LGBTQ+ Center has events each week including table discussions about important issues, sharing stories and experiences and self care.
“All events [such as the coming out day] are important because it’s imperative to have our voice heard and seen and for our identities, names and pronouns to be respected,” Goebel said.
While Coming Out Day is a fun day to have voices heard, stories told and laughter among friends and strangers, National Coming Out Day developed because of the many struggles faced in the community.
“It is a great time to remember the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community, and to remind ourselves that we are strong, capable and deserving of support and respect,” Goebel said.
The LGBTQ+ center is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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