Gay? Fine By Me aims to gain allies


The Appalachian Online

Nicole Caporaso

The LGBT Center hosted various events titled Gay? Fine By Me on Tuesday and Wednesday with the purpose of informing the Appalachian State University community about what it means to be an ally and how to show support to fellow students who identify as LGBT.

Gay? Fine By Me is an initiative started by Atticus Circle, a group that educates people who do not identify as LGBT to support their equal rights.

On both days, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there was a contact table set up in Plemmons Student Union with T-shirts on sale for $7 as well as brochures, buttons and keychains to give out.

Jerry Yelton, a LGBT Center desk shift volunteer said the center does not make any profit off of the shirts and that they are merely used to spread the message. The reason for the shirts being $7 is because that is what the cost was to make them.

Yelton said the LGBT Center had craft nights in order to hand-make the keychains and such that were given out as well.

The center also hosted workshops, which were open to anyone regardless of his or her identification, in the Price Lake room of the union from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Between 20 and 30 people attended the workshops Tuesday night, Yelton said.

“The workshops are opportunities for people to learn gender and sexuality minorities 101 and to learn how to become a good ally,” Yelton said. “A lot of people see the Gay? Fine By Me shirt and think ‘oh cool, I’m fine with gay dudes, I’m going to buy this, I like the fact that gay guys can get married,’ but they don’t realize all the other facets of the LGBT community.”

Calah Faircloth, another LGBT Center desk shift volunteer, said one of the goals of the events was to educate others on how to be the best ally they can be, whether they are in the LGBT community or not.

“I really hope that people see we’re an open and welcoming campus, that’s kind of one of the big reasons this is happening,” Faircloth said.

Yelton said the workshops were the LGBT Center’s way of expanding upon the T-shirts into a more meaningful and important vocality.

“We’re trying to get across the importance of all identities within the LGBT spectrum,” Yelton said. “A lot of people don’t realize that there are so many people that are a part of this community, and we also want to get across the message that allies are very welcome in the center and are a part of this community.”

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter