National Coming Out Day

Natalie Spahn

Members of Augustana Gender and Sexuality Alliance came out to the Brew and helped celebrate National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the GSA members set up a table in the Gerber Center, where they handed out candy, ribbons, and stickers to show support for the LGBTQ community. Their goal was to raise awareness about the importance of the day and to show solidarity with the community.
National Coming Out Day is celebrated on Oct. 11, since that is the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. People are more likely to support equality if they know someone who is LGBTQ, so the importance of coming out, even as an ally, is to help equality under the law and in social life.
Mercedes Vanopdorp, a junior and president of GSA, says this day is important because, “even though people of the LGBT community are more accepted than we used to be, there are still hurdles that we do need to get over and there is still resistance sometimes.”
Vanopdorp believes coming out is a powerful tool: along with validating people’s identity and feelings, coming out can help someone feel closer to the community.
“[By] sharing our stories with others and hearing other people’s stories, we feel less alone,” Vanopdorp said
This is a rebuilding year for the club on campus, members said. Even though they have had only two meetings they still worked hard and managed to have a booth to celebrate the day. The group has big plans for the future when they have even more time and funds to prepare for the day.
“There’s still hate going on, and some people just hate it because they don’t understand it.,” said junior Angelica Keating Aguilar.
In the upcoming weeks, GSA plans to host events for Pride week and anti-bullying awareness. They also want to have an event for National Day of Silence this spring.