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Take Pride

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Take Pride

Daniel Brown ('18) and Marcella Meza ('18) hold signs created by PRIDE for the event.

Daniel Brown ('18) and Marcella Meza ('18) hold signs created by PRIDE for the event.

Photo courtesy of PRIDE

Daniel Brown ('18) and Marcella Meza ('18) hold signs created by PRIDE for the event.

Photo courtesy of PRIDE

Photo courtesy of PRIDE

Daniel Brown ('18) and Marcella Meza ('18) hold signs created by PRIDE for the event.

Natalie Nelson, Staff Writer

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Students held rainbow signs and flags while members of Luther College People for the Rights and Inclusion of Diversity and Expression snapped photos in front of a doorway to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community in Dahl Centennial Union. On Wednesday, Oct. 10, PRIDE hosted this event to celebrate National Coming Out Day.

The annual LGBTQIA+ awareness day actually falls on Oct. 11, the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. However, the event took place a day early at Luther because of how it coincided with Fall Break.

PRIDE Secretary Wyatt Anians (‘19) said the day was to celebrate all identities and show people that they will be accepted after coming out.

“It is encompassing the entire LGBTQIA+ community and those who stand for the same equality,” Anians said. “We had a blast bringing awareness to campus as everyone was going about their day. Allies showed their support and queer members of the community came to share some stories and laughs.”

Anians wants students to learn that coming out is a life-changing lifelong process.

Photo courtesy of PRIDE
Maya Tuff (’21) poses in front of the mock doorway in the Union.

“The years leading up to [coming out] are impossibly confusing, traumatizing, and terrifying,” Anians said. “When queer people start a new job, a new school, or move to a new town, they still choose to come out to individuals who they feel comfortable with. Each time can be equally as terrifying as the last. We just want to live in a world where we are always comfortable being our authentic selves without negative repercussions.”

President of PRIDE Filiberto Lopez-Garcia (‘19) wanted this day to serve as a reminder to students and the community that coming out should be a celebration.

“For most people, [coming out] is one of the most difficult times in their lives,” Lopez-Garcia said. “[Coming Out Day] is a form of showing support for those who came out and those who are still looking to come out. It not only helps the LGBTQI+ community but it also helps those around us to better understand.”

LGBT History Month involves multiple events throughout October with the purpose of celebrating diversity in the community. Lopez-Garcia wants to see these events become more popular.

“This is a time to come together to remember those who have made an impact on our community and to remember the fighters who died to allow us to be proud of who we are, openly and unashamed,” Lopez-Garcia said.

PRIDE Vice President Matthew Espey (‘19) enjoyed planning and setting up the event. This involved wheeling the rehearsal door donated by the Visual and Performing Arts department from the acting studio in the CFA to the Union and decorating it with streamers and cut-outs that members of PRIDE helped to create. The setup involved a variety of identity flags and signs for students to take pictures with.

“I feel a glowing sense of community in that, on this one day, people feel strengthened in a decision that should be nothing at all, but means a lot in this society,” Espey said. “Coming Out Day is just a day for people to realize they are not alone. If a bunch of people all together can stand and say I am who I am, it’s not so scary.”

Espey was pleased with the turnout and said that during the hour in which he manned the table for the event, he took photos for 20 different students. He hopes future Coming Out Day events will bring more people who identify as allies to take photos.

“It’s a day for individuals of any sexuality and any gender identity, whatever their identity is, if they want to proclaim it,” Espey said. “It’s a day for anyone to feel empowered but not pressured to do so.”

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