All day today, GU Pride is stationed in Red Square with over 300 free “I am” t-shirts and a door for students to walk through in support of LGBTQ issues, or even to come out of the closet. The group set up their yearly installment for National Coming Out Day at 9 a.m. and will be there till the end of the day. This is the second event in a series of October events during “Coming Out Month 2012″ to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people and allies.
“It’s really a day to celebrate our identity,” President of GU Pride Meghan Ferguson (COL ’15) said.
Each year on National Coming Out Day, the group holds an ‘affection-in.’ “We had eight to ten couples and a whole bunch of other people holding hands, making out, and hugging in Red Square,” she said. “Many people walked by today, ranging from prospective students to professors who will say ‘Happy Coming Out Day, thanks for being out here!’ It’s great to see a lot of support on campus.”
The celebration will end with a barbecue on Leavey Esplanade at 5 p.m. Other events for Outober Month include a lecture with Chairman and President of Export-Import Bank Fred Hochberg, one of the few openly gay senior officials in the Obama administration.
GU Pride Vice President for Community Affairs Julia Maddera (COL ’13) added that Coming Out Day brings a sense of solidarity within the Georgetown community. ”There are a lot of people who participate who have been out forever but there are other people who have just recently come out. Everyone is in a different place in their journey,” she said.
National Coming Out Day is not just an opportunity to celebrate students who are part of the LGBTQ community, but also allies and supporters of gay rights.
“We had an older gentleman who I think works in the History department come up to us today and he said ’I support you, my daughter has a civil union and she has kids with her partner, and to go against you would be to go against my family.’ Hearing statements like that are so powerful…if we weren’t out here today celebrating it, well, the sentiments might be there but we won’t know about it.”
Photos courtesy of Julia Maddera