RHA, QSU and other organizations join hands on Main Campus to support coming out.
Considering today’s changing times of social acceptance, Brianna Edwards, a sophomore advertising major and president of Queer Student Union, said that college is the most tolerant time for those in the GLBT community to come out.
“The community here is very accepting, although the media does play a part in how comfortable students feel as well,” Edwards said. “During [National Coming Out Week] students get to be involved and send a positive message throughout campus.”
The Temple community is also embracing its GLBT students and is hosting NCOW, which began on Main Campus in 2008, and will run from Wednesday, Oct. 5 through Oct. 11.
“This area is historically progressive,” said Brendan Good, a geography and urban studies major and the secretary of QSU. “So even though only 30 to 50 people come out to the meetings every Monday, in actuality the community is much, much larger and is made up of allies and people who show their support in the littlest ways. QSU is a small part of [GLBT] life here.”
Programs will be sponsored by University Housing and Residential Life, HEART, Student Activities, Queer Student Union, Purple Circle and Residence Hall Association, to provide a week of awareness, visibility and fun for GLTB issues and rights.
This year’s activities will include a panel discussion led by members of QSU on how race and religion affects sexuality, a tabling day at the Bell Tower where there will be concessions, information and T-shirts given out, and a “Come Out, Speak Out” night during which students can share coming out stories with others.
Event officials will also hold a showing and discussion of “Milk,” the movie that chronicles the life of Harvey Milk, first openly gay man to be elected to political office in the United States.
Ryan Kelly, a freshman philosophy major, said NCOW will be liberating for him although it is the kind of thing he has never experienced.
“With all the political problems of gay marriage legislation and Lady Gaga dedicating a song to gay suicide, I think it’s important to show people who may not be exactly like ourselves our support,” he said.
Good said student recruitment through social networking and events like NCOW allows Temple’s GLBT community to be accepted.
NCOW is not QSU’s only focus at this time. The QSU Temple Team will be participating in Aids Walk Philly on Sunday, Oct. 16. For more information, go to aidswalkphilly.org.
Amanda Plaksin can be reached at email@example.com.