By Kota Yanagidani
The National Coming Out Day Coffeehouse for LGBTQ was held Tuesday in the UWS Gender Equity Resource Center. It is the opportunity for any people in the community to share and to take a step in "coming out" in sexual orientation or gender identity.
This year's event marked the event's 28th anniversary According to the Human Rights Campaign, it offers an opportunity for people to “celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally” on a national day.
The UWS event began with understanding what National Coming Out Day is and why it is important. This was followed by a video of someone sharing the story about about the experience of struggling with identity and coming out. After grasping what to do, the biggest part of this event was reading and sharing the real stories. Several participants volunteered to read the stories aloud.
Some participants found a story to be very similar to their own experiences; others felt empathy for the shared stories. One participant commented that it is “terrifying” every time he/she has come out.
The Gender Equity Resource Center is located in Swenson 1031. It is part of the UWS Gender Equity Program, which supports and empowers students of any gender and any sexual identity.
The organizer of the event was UWS student Briteny Newman-Lockhart, who believes this coffeehouse went successfully.
“This coming-out event allows us to be who we are,” Newman-Lockhart said. “Part of the mission of the university wants all the students to respect each culture and each identity.”