Chieftain Press

Coming Out Day is October 11th

Members+of+the+Calgary+community+celebrate+diversity+by+marching+in+the+gay+pride+parade+in+downtown+Calgary+on+Sunday%2C+Sept.+4%2C+2016.+%28Photo+by+Dawn+Gibson%2FSAIT%29
Members of the Calgary community celebrate diversity by marching in the gay pride parade in downtown Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/SAIT)

Members of the Calgary community celebrate diversity by marching in the gay pride parade in downtown Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/SAIT)

Dawn Gibson

Dawn Gibson

Members of the Calgary community celebrate diversity by marching in the gay pride parade in downtown Calgary on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/SAIT)

Ashley Masse, Contributor

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Nashoba celebrates National Coming Out Day on October 11th. This day supports students who are taking the courageous step out of the ‘closet’ with the announcement of their true gender/sexual identities. This holiday commemorates the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights that occurred in Oct. 11, 1987. The parade was the second demonstration for LGBT rights in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of organizations, which would push for the Equality Act of 2015 and same-sex marriage which is present today.  

On Coming Out day, Gay-Straight Alliance individuals will wear their GSA club shirts with rainbow accessories to show their pride; new members of the L(esbian)G(ay)B(i)T(rans)Q(uestioning)Q(ueer)I(nter)P(an)2S(pirit)A(sexual)A(lly) community will be welcomed as they wear their pride flags and general rainbow colors!

What can we do to support them? Since some of society still stigmatizes this population, those coming out are putting themselves in a daring position. Homophobia and conservative opinions pose a threat to the confidence of homosexual students. This is why those who are new to the idea of the GSA should do their best to put compassion before judgement. Hold your beliefs if you must, but consider the welfare of those coming out. Validation, which is the understanding of a situation without the need for agreement, needs to be shown to these students who are looking for love and acceptance from their peers.

Words of acceptance can fill up a person who may have been struggling in the past. It is crucial for people understand that phrases such as “This is a big deal, you’re so strong for facing the anxiety” or “There is no need to fear now; you are your own person” and “I’m so glad you are introducing this to me, it brings us closer as friends”. Don’t forget that hugs and high fives are always appreciated.

In sum, speaking out is an important action that supports freedom and equality for everyone. In celebration of these triumphs, Nashoba’s Gay-Straight Alliance in accordance with the Human Rights Campaign will recognize National Coming Out Day on October 11th to continue to promote a safe world for LGBTQ individuals to live truthfully and openly.

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Coming Out Day is October 11th