Auraria celebrates campus diversity
National Coming Out Day Brings Everyone Together
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 02:10
Since 1990, the nation has collectively celebrated National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11. And this year everyone can join the celebration at Auraria Campus.
Past NCOD events on campus have presented speakers like openly gay Colorado senator, Pat Steadman, and brought attention to the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell issue in our nations military.
This year is no different: “We are bringing in Kate Bornstein, a nationally known trans author, activist, performer, and speaker,” Steve Willich, Director for Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Student Services, said. “Hopefully we can get her out to a couple of classes on campus while she’s here. And do a book signing, things like that.”
Bornstein’s book, A Queer And Pleasant Danger, published May 1, 2012, is a memoir of her life experiences. She says on her blog that it’s “the true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves 12 years later to become the lovely lady she is today.”
In addition to Bornstein, the student organizers have also planned for other speakers to come in and share their experiences. “They are bringing in parent and child pairs to come in and talk about the coming out experience from both their perspectives, and how that changed their relationship and how much closer that’s brought them by the child being honest about their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Willich said.
The NCOD is for all students, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. “All of our events are focused on campus education,” Willich said. “So it’s not only for the students that utilize our services, the ones that are currently here–it’s further education for them–but it’s also for the students who have not come here, but might identify as GLBT. An event like this gives them more anonymity in just attending an event verses crossing the threshold into our office and being seen crossing it.”
The GLBT Student Services office is open to all students at Auraria campus, but if any student is hesitant to visit it there are other ways of connecting.
“If anyone doesn’t feel like coming into the office or to the event, there’s always our website they can go to. All three schools have links to our website,” Willich said. “They can also send an anonymous email. They can ask questions I can respond to. I can meet them outside of the office so they can feel a little more anonymous in their interactions.” Whatever the student feels most comfortable with, Willich can help accommodate them.
“I know that back in college I wouldn’t have gone into the GLBT office, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it,” Willich said, “I was just too nervous about being seen, being identified, things like that. So for students who are questioning, who are not out yet, events like this, education like this, is a good opportunity for them to get involved and see what the campus does in a safer environment for them. So it’s for everybody.”
The GLBT Student Services at Auraria is located in Tivoli room 213, and is open Monday-Thursday 9am - 6pm, and Friday 9am - 5pm.
National Coming Out Day
Thursday Oct. 11, Tivoli Turnhalle Rm 250
10am to 3:30pm