Coming Out Week events aim to unite University community in support of LGBT people
Coming Out Week events aim to unite University community in support of LGBT peopleOctober 05, 2006Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
Starting Oct. 8, Syracuse University will host a campus-wide celebration of Coming Out Week, an SU tradition within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and straight-allied community. The week is part of a larger celebration throughout the world recognizing the lives, experiences, voices and struggles of LGBT people. Wednesday, Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, commemorating the 1987 March on Washington for LGBT Rights.
As a show of support, SU’s LGBT Resource Center will publish an “Out List” and “Straight Ally List” in the Oct. 9 issue of the Syracuse Record and the Oct. 11 issue of the Syracuse Daily Orange. The Out List, a full-page advertisement listing the names of “out” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff, celebrates the contributions of the LGBT community and invites the campus to join in raising awareness. The Straight Ally list provides supporters of the LGBT community with the opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to homophobia, inequality and injustice directed against LGBT people.
“Coming out is not just a one-time event, but an important beginning of a lifelong process in which an LGBT person constantly negotiates how to live more openly,” says Adrea Jaehnig, director of SU’s LGBT Resource Center. “Being out at work, with friends and family, within one’s faith tradition or culture happens over time and with the support of loved ones.” Jaehnig emphasizes the role of straight allies in ending homophobia and heterosexism in our society and encourages everyone to participate in the week’s events and to learn how to support LGBT friends and family members more openly.
A variety of groups are co-sponsoring Coming Out Week events at SU, including the LGBT Resource Center, UEncounter Grant, Pride Union, Outrage and the Office of Residence Life.
The following events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, with parking generally available to the public on a space-available basis in the University’s paid visitor lots:
Sunday, Oct. 8:Comedian Karen Williams. 8 p.m., The Underground, Schine Student Center. Tickets on sale at the Schine Box Office: $2 with SUID, $4 for the public.
Monday, Oct. 9: Rainbow Bridge. 2-2:30 p.m., The Quad. Wear a solid red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple shirt and line up across the quad to show support for LGBT people and straight allies at SU and SUNY-ESF.
“Guess the Hetero” Game Show. 9 p.m., Shemin Auditorium, Schaffer Art Building. A fresh twist on an old game. Using questions and games, can you guess the sexual identities of the contestants? This educational and entertaining program will help participants see beyond stereotypes and create dialogue.
Tuesday, Oct. 10:Chalk the Quad. 8:30 p.m., LGBT Resource Center. Meet at the LGBT Resource Center for some pizza, then grab some chalk as we mark the quad with LGBT-affirming messages.
Wednesday, Oct. 11:Q Monologues: Coming Out Stories. 8:30 p.m., Kittredge Auditorium (HBC). Whether you have been out for a month or a decade, come and step out of the closet one more time.
Thursday, Oct. 12:You Have a Safe Space Sticker, Now What? 7 p.m., Nifkin Lounge (SUNY-ESF). This program will examine how LGBT people and Straight Allies can work together to re-imagine space and equality. Following a brief panel, attendees will break into a creative workshop aimed at real-life strategies to create safe space.
Friday, Oct. 13:The Big Gay Dance. 10 p.m., The Underground, Schine Student Center. Pride Union’s dance party returns, with a special “Friday the 13th” twist! Tickets on sale at the Schine Box Office: $3 for SU students, $5 for the public.
For more information, visit http://lgbt.syr.edu/outweek.The LGBT Resource Center is a principal unit of the Division of Student Affairs.