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CSULB celebrating National Coming Out Week

The official National Coming Out Day may be on Monday, but Cal State Long Beach has an entire week planned to celebrate this international observance.

Julie Potter and Maria Carmen Hinayon, student assistants at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Student Resource Center, are responsible for putting on campus events in honor of National Coming Out Week.

Events include a chance for students to publically announce their sexuality or alliance with the LGBT community and a Queer Hip-Hop Uncensored Show.

Organizers say they hope to make people comfortable with themselves and their sexuality.

 

Monday

In collaboration with CSULB’s K-Beach radio, the LGBT Resource Center is putting on “Out Loud and Proud.” Students in the University Student Union will be able to announce their status as out, gay or ally. There will be a DJ playing music by LGBT artists and the event will last from noon to 1 p.m.

 

Tuesday

There will be a K-Beach Queer Hip-Hop Show from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will also be a comprehensive resource fair in front of the University Bookstore from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Multiple organizations such as Counseling and Psychological services and Delta Lamba Phi will also be there.

“The point of the resource fair is to let people know there are places on campus right now, for where to turn. A lot of places for them to go, right here in Long Beach, in the community and on campus,” Potter said.

 

Wednesday

The Transgender Symposium 101 will take place in the USU Alamitos Room. Three speakers will discuss transgender identities, transphobia and transgender legal issues.

Drian Juarez of the Transgender Program from Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center will speak during the Transgender 101 segment. Talia Betcher, associate professor of philosophy at Cal State Los Angeles, will speak on transphobia, and Miya Yamamoto, criminal prosecutor for Los Angeles County, will discuss the legal ramifications for transgender individuals.

The entire symposium runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Thursday

The Queer Hip-Hop Uncensored Show takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Nugget. It will have acts from hip-hop artists, including Potter.

Potter said that the LGBT Resource Center hopes to accomplish visibility for LGBT students. It also hopes to educate students on what is acceptable speech.

“The culmination is to enlighten, to bring awareness,” Potter said. “To know that their classmates and their friends are gay. When you use slurs, you hurt people.”

National Coming Out Day is more than just a day for people to announce their sexuality. According to Potter, it is about being comfortable with yourself, your sexuality and your gender identity.

“Research has found that a hostile school climate is linked to emotional distress … and suicidal thoughts. A comfortable culture and climate on school campus promotes the safety and psychological wellbeing of its students,” said Jeff Baer, graduate student in social work.

Potter agreed and said, “A lot of people want to help you; you are not alone. It will get better. Find love, find happiness, find community.”

 

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