LGBT Center turns celebrated day into week of themed activities

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center will be celebrating National Coming Out Day by extending it into a week-long celebration at Cal State Long Beach from Oct. 8 through Oct. 11.

This event, which is celebrated across the nation every Oct. 11, occurs to help spread awareness of the LGBT issues and provides on-campus resources, according to Matt Cabrera, Student Resource Center coordinator. For the past two years, Cabrera has been a coordinator for National Coming Out Day and he says he has seen positive results.

Because a main part of National Coming Out Week is to heighten awareness on campus, the LGBT Center said it isn’t just for LGBT and allies, but for everyone. Different on-campus departments and organizations such as Counseling and Psychological Services, the Student Health Center, the Student Life and Development and the Episcopal Campus Ministry all contribute to the event.

Throughout the week, there will be a series of activities. On Monday, there will be a presentation in the University Student Union Ballroom A on having healthy sexual relationships in college. The presentation is sponsored by the Student Health Services Health Resource Center.

On Tuesday, there will be a panel in USU Ballroom A of guest speakers talking about “coming out of the closet” in a presentation called “REDEFINED: The Impact of Race, Class, Gender Identity and Religion on Discussions about LGBT Identity.”

Guest speakers include Jasmyne Cannick, Congressional staffer and journalist; Tom Crow, a social work professor at CSULB; Vianney Ramirez, a LGBT and immigration attorney; and Marshall Wong, Los Angeles County human relations commission consultant.

A film screening of “God and Gays: Bridging the Gap,” which according to the Internet Movie Database, is about the religious struggle in reconciling sexuality and spirituality, will be shown on Wednesday in USU Ballroom A.

Later that day, a workshop, Out at Work – Job Search and Workplace Issues for LGBT and Ally Students, will be held at-the Career Development Center.

Thursday, which is National Coming Out Day, will have a spoken word performance by D’Lo, a Sri Lankan-American political theater artist, writer and music producer. That same day, students will have the opportunity to speak up in durance an open-mic testimonials platform near the University Bookstore.

“[National Coming Out Day] has sparked a lot of conversations,” Cabrera said, “and has given the campus community more insight” into the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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