By Marissa Mooney |Staff Writer|
The Pride Center presented one of their Coming Out events, “Coming Out in Words” on Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Student Union.
Throughout campus, the Pride Center advertises its events for the month of October in conjunction with the National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.
The Santos Manuel Student Union was turned into an open forum of storytelling, spoken word and other forms of creative expression to commemorate the Coming Out occasion.
According to the CSUSB Pride Center coming out is “the process of accepting one’s sexuality or gender identity, as well as the process of revealing one’s sexuality or gender identity to others.”
The room was filled with eager students ready to tell their personal stories to a crowded room of friends and strangers. A community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning and straight students were patient and accepting to hear members of the community share their passionate stories.
Emotion filled the room and a tissue was shared between each storyteller. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Ally (LGBTQQIA) community supported one another with respect and admiration.
The co-host of the event, Gabriela Sandoval, brought up a poem written by student Talisa Terrell who was not present for the event. It was a spoken-word piece titled Should I Step Out Of This Looking Glass.
The poem told of Terrell’s experience and struggle of discovering her sexuality. It was an enticing and well-written observation of the hardship of her journey and decision to come out.
A young man stepped up to the mic and shared his continuing journey and discovery of his sexuality.
Students passing by were curious about the event and stepped in. Donna Guevara and Gabriela Sandoval welcomed students to sit, join and listen.
“We are a safe zone for everyone. It means you are supportive of the community, and even if you are straight you are still welcome in this community,” said student Donna Guevara.
Flyers and the pride flag adorned the table at the event.
A raffle for prizes like pride shirts were given out and being purchased in support of the Pride Center.
The celebration of National Coming Out day is a defining moment for the gay community. Many people, students on college campuses, and celebrities across the United States help advocate and spread the word of the celebration.
Throughout the year many cities have festivals and parades in celebration of the LGBTQQIA community including Los Angeles Pride, Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride, and film showcase Outfest.
Advocating for the greater good of a community shines in the Pride Center. Every event put on is organized and welcoming to all students on campus.
The Pride Center is known on campus for being a welcoming and friendly environment. Through advocacy and education, the Pride Center “focuses on creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all university community members.”
The Pride Center is located in SMSU 112 and has an open door policy.