National Coming Out Day — a day of international awareness to be held Sunday for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities — will be celebrated by the Ithaca College community.
The poet Michelle Courtney Berry will be the featured speaker tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Textor 101. For each day of October, LGBT History Month, the college Web site will also showcase a different video about a particular LGBT person in history.
Lis Maurer, LGBT center program director, said the primary purpose of these events is to encourage people to talk about issues on campus.
“Anytime that people’s awareness is raised about not just issues, but people, it’s a good and helpful thing,” she said. “The idea is to get people to interact with each other and to reach out across our many dimensions
In addition to planned events, the National Coming Out Day and Ally List has been signed by 46 alumni, 29 faculty and staff and 55 students. The list, which is on Page 16 of this week’s Ithacan, contains the names of volunteer students, alumni and faculty who are either members of the LGBT community or are allies of the community.
The Out and Ally List was created by junior Catherine Kirchhoff, the president of prism, a student organization that encourages conversation about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Kirchhoff said she wanted the list to correspond with National Coming Out Day and LGBT History Month. She began collecting names Sept. 25 and received 125 by
Sept. 29. The initial goal was 80 names. Kirchhoff said she was excited her original goal was exceeded.
Junior Andrew Whitson signed his name. He said the list should help bring the college community together.
“My hope is that people will see the list and be like, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize that there were this many who were willing to put their name in a public paper,’” he said.
Vera Whisman, a women’s studies lecturer at the college, was present at the 1987 Washington, D.C., protest during the first National Coming Out Day. She said raising awareness about the LGBT community is something that has been important to her.
“It’s really important for students to be able to see faculty and staff who have been through this and who are supportive,” she said.
The college has been recognized for being a friendly place for LGBT students by “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students,” a book written in 2006 by experts who ranked the top 100 LGBT-friendly college campuses.
Maurer said the National Coming Out Day and Ally List is a chance to start a discussion about the LGBT community that the rest of the college may not be familiar with.
“If someone feels far away from LGBT issues and themes, any opportunity to learn about people encourages us to think again about our commonalities,” she said.
Also in News
- Student charged with reporting false incident
- Reported knifepoint robbery found false
- Commencement speaker urges new graduates to give back
- Steven Mauk named acting music school dean
- CORRECTION to officials' pay story
- Southside center seeks neighborhood revival
- Empowering the People
- Top officials' pay released
- Barlas appointed director of ethnicity studies center
- All News articles »