ASU celebrates National Coming Out Day

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Kaitlan Morehouse

The LGBT Center celebrated National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11 a day early in the student union.

Oct. 11 marks the 26th anniversary of the National Coming Out Day that celebrates coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. The day was first observed on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

LGBT Center’s National Coming Out Day Committee Head Kendell Macvean, three other committee members and 10 to 15 volunteers put together a contact table on Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m to help celebrate National Coming Out Day.

“The main point of National Coming Out Day is for all identities to be acknowledged and appreciated,” Jerry Yelton, committee member and sexuality and gender alliance vice president of community said.

Yelton said the LGBT Center started having the event a few years ago.

“Our event is intended, instead of forcing someone to come out, to kind of acknowledge your identity and be proud of it, but you don’t have to shout it at the top of a rooftop,” Yelton said. “You can just quietly be content with the identity be yours and share it with people that matter to you, and be accepting of all identities of your fellow members.”

For the first time, the National Coming Out Day committee made a tree out of metal wire where people could come by and write their hopes, dreams or desires that they have for themselves, the university, the center, coming out or what they want for the future on rainbow ribbons. Those ribbons would then be hung on the tree.

“I think it will be a nice visual representation of our community,” Macvean said.

People could also take a picture in front of a backdrop with any of the committee’s colorful accessories they had to give out, such as rainbow buttons and keychains. The pictures are going up on the LGBT Center Facebook page.

Macvean said they also gave out a handout explaining what to do if someone comes out to them.

“We’re hoping the event could extend further into something to encourage students who don’t attend Appalachian State University right now to know this is a safe place, a good community for LGBTQ+ identifying people,” Macvean said.

Story: Kaitlan Morehouse, Intern News Reporter