UW-Fox celebrates National Coming Out Day
By Gaby Lara
photo by Tommy Yang
Associate professor of anthropology Renee Gralewicz
and students dance to "Gangnam Style" by Psy on
National Coming Out Day Oct. 11.
Fellow Cyclones shared, listened and supported each other on National Coming Out Day during the noon hour in the student union Oct. 11.
UW-Fox's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club members sponsored the event.
The microphone was shared by students who volunteered to voice their coming out stories. hey shared their personal experiences of the struggles and accomplishments they encountered while discovering their sexuality.
Sophomore Tommy Yang opened up the presentation with a PowerPoint on diversity and equality for college students
He explained how accepting sexual identity is difficult for some, especially young adults. With the pressure of school and work, as well as the fear of loved ones' responses, admitting this change can be frightening.
Sophomore Tammy Berven had a similar experience.
"After coming out, my friendships became a lot stronger because I knew how lucky I was to have great friends supporting me," Berven said.
The Coming Out Day speeches emphasized how the community can be more accepting of the sexually diverse.
Post presentation, freshman Jessie Sankey provided attendees with ways to support a friend who is struggling with coming out.
"When someone came out to me, they were really afraid. It should never change your view on someone, they are who they are. Just be there for them, it's the greatest thing you can do." Sankey said.
GSA deals with and advocates issues facing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals today. Their mission is to educate the campus and community on these issues, as well as to provide a safe space for the LGBT community.
GSA also sponsored a week-long event for LGBT students and their allies. Members set up a table in the atrium over the noon hour all week for people to sign a pledge agreeing to be an ally.
Students were asked to wear a different color each day of the week. Monday's color was red, Tuesday was orange/yellow, Wednesday was green, Thursday was blue and Friday was purple. Members also participated in a flash mob to rally support for LGBT youth and allies, set to the the hugely popular k-pop track "Gangnam Style" by Psy in the campus' atrium.
For more information on how to get involved with GSA contact Pam Massey at (920) 832-2643.