NCOW is important to promoting a judgement free atmosphere on Main Campus.
As National Coming Out Week approaches Main Campus, this is an opportune time for The Temple News to remind students that Temple is a place where everyone should be able to be themselves without facing any judgment for their respective lifestyle choices.
It is commendable that the university entities such as Health Education Awareness Resource Team, Student Activities and University Housing and Residential Life are sponsoring events geared toward making GLBT students feel more comfortable on Main Campus for this week, but just because NCOW is only one week doesn’t mean the discussion of GLBT, and student rights in general, should end there.
In April of 2010, The Temple News’ editorial board published an explanation for our continued, sometimes seemingly excessive, coverage of the GLBT community on Main Campus and in Philadelphia. A year and a half later, we stand by our position. The Temple News considers the GLBT cause the civil rights movement of our generation.
The college community, especially in an urban environment, is typically seen as pretty friendly and accepting of the GLBT community. The Temple News is proud of the Temple community for maintaining supportive activities like NCOW and for the various student organizations that pledge their support for the community and demonstrate their involvement.
But, we still have a long way to go. The struggles of some members of the GLBT community might not be apparent to everyone, but even in the most accepting places, they are still prevalent. The Temple News accepted submissions for essays this week, for anyone who wished to share their thoughts and experiences on the subject. Members of the community spoke on issues such as the demeaning nature of phrases like “the gay best friend,” and the intolerance those who identify as bisexual still face even from other members of the gay community.
Tolerance and equality are not conditions that will be met overnight, but little by little, we’re getting better. This week, students should remember to appreciate themselves and respect each other for who they are and think about the lessons taught during NCOW for the rest of the year.