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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Coming Out Week hits Macalester

By Anna Nassiff

This year, Macalester celebrated Coming Out Week with a bang.Though National Coming Out Day was on Monday, Oct. 11, Macalester students have turned this time of celebration and remembrance into a week-long event. Activities are planned Monday through Friday for the Macalester community to get involved.

Coming Out Week is a week of LGBT awareness and acceptance, according to members of Macalester’s Queer Union.

“Coming out is such a central part of the queer identity and being proud of that, and it is such a difficult part. You never know if people are going to accept you or not. I think drawing attention to the fact that it is a big community, and for so many people who do need to stay in the closet, I think it’s important to recognize that we’re not fully at a point of acceptance, especially when you look at events that occurred recently,” Dave Harris ’11 said in an email.

A Candlelight Vigil will be held on Bateman Plaza at 5 p.m. this Friday in remembrance of those that have been the news lately who have killed themselves due to anti-LGBT harassment.

Other events that were held for Coming out Week included Monday’s discussion Hidden Voices: The Lives of LGBT Muslims with keynote speaker Faisel Alam, Tuesday’s SPEAK! Lecture with poet Solidad Decosta, Wednesday’s Coming Out Panel and Thursday’s Movie Night in the Dupre formal lounge.

Wednesday was also Gender-Bender or Rainbow Day. According to Rachel Gunsalas ’11, one of the co-leaders of Queer Union, Gender-Bender Day is less about wearing the complete opposite of what you normally wear and more about feeling free to wear whatever you want.

“I’m looking forward to a time when we don’t need a Coming Out Week because it’s a non-issue. Perceived or actual orientation isn’t a limiting factor in people’s daily conversations or interactions,” Gunsalas said.

Coming Out Week holds different meanings for different members of the community.

“Coming Out Day is kind of misnomer now. It’s not so much about encouraging people to come out-although that is a subset of it-as it is about showing the ways that society affects both those who are out and in the closet,” Nora Kassner ’14 said. “If you do choose to come out, you’re joining a global movement that shows the influence of queer people within the community. If you are already out, by being active on this day you make that same difference. It’s also about giving Allies a chance to out themselves as supporters.

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