National Coming Out Day was on Thursday October 12th, a national holiday celebrated throughout the world honoring the difficult process of coming out of the closet. USF’s Queer Alliance, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer) community, and WORD club came together for an open mic night where students shared poems, songs, and stories. The event has been going on for a couple of years now and the audience finds it comforting to hear different stories for each performer who provides a different experience and support for the community.
Nick Large, President of Alliance Club, helped define the word “Queer”. He said, “One may take the word from a political standpoint or in an umbrella sense. Queer is an encompassing term. Queer simply means not heterosexual.”
The LGBTQ community reclaimed the word Queer as a derogatory insult. Events like these aim to change the perceptions of the gay community. Instead of making coming out a process one of fear and ridicule, it is now becoming one of pride and confidence.
Large said that the event is a “great outlet to share stories and express our uniquely queer feelings”.
Vice President Shea Hazarian said, “when you hear different experiences you feel solitary. At open mic nights like this you hear a total range of experiences, some struggling to come out to their family and others to their friends, sometimes even to themselves. Hearing different people put themselves out there gave me the courage to come out more myself.”
The San Francisco gay community takes this holiday to the heart. Nick Large said, “San Francisco is an affirming and validating city. It helps one come out especially when your in Union square and you see two men openly, comfortably holding hands. This city gives one a sense of unity”.
Kat Nelsonn said, “it is very important for queer people to have a place for positive expression. I love having a community that supports queers artistically, emotionally, and socially.”
Through art, poetry, and a welcoming community LGBTQ’s came together to show each other support and comfort and as develop a stronger bond between the queer community on campus.
*Written by Deputy Scene Editor Paulina Galoostian; Sean Riordan is the Scene Editor