By: Ellina Koo
This year on October 11th, Hills East celebrated National Coming Out Day for the first time. National Coming Out Day is an annual LGBTQ awareness day to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and ensure that the LGBTQ community is being recognized as it should be. Many also know it to be a day in celebration towards the anniversary of the March on Washington for Gays and Lesbians in 1987. This event has consistently been celebrated on October 11th of every year since the first observation which was on the year of 1988. I personally didn’t know this until this year after seeing all the cool displays put around the school in celebration of National Coming Out Day. I had the opportunity to interview some students on the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) board, and it’s a pleasure to share them with you.
How do you feel about Hills East bringing back National Coming Out Day this year?
“I am happy and excited about it because we want to spread awareness and support for the LGBTQ community.” – Shae Lane, a Senior Agender Lesbian and Secretary of GSA
“It means a lot and it feels good considering all the support given and it’s a day where everyone can unite.” – Natalie B., a Senior and Co-Vice President of GSA
Did you hold this event last year or in previous years?
“It’s the first time we have held National Coming Out Day, although there were other similar events GSA has participated in.”
What are the goals/aims taken when deciding to prepare for National Coming Out Day?
“Showing awareness to the community as well as supporting allies.”
Are there any other events or things that GSA has participated in (donations, etc)?
“Yes, send contributions to the LGBT Network and we currently have a donation box available for those that would be willing to help support kids a risk.”
What have you done specifically to gain more support and representation for GSA?
“Our club is on the morning announcements and flyers to spread the word about our club.”
What are the goals you have for holding this event today? Any future goals?
“I hope that schools and teachers come out as a safe part. Some future goals include preparing for National Day of Silence in the month of April and Pride Month in the month of June.”
When and where does GSA hold meetings?
“GSA meets on Thursdays in room 607 from 2:00-2:45.
Any advice for new members who want to join but are unsure or scared?
“Being gay is fine. It’s good to have different opinions and in the end, no one will know if you are straight or not. Even if you aren’t lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, everyone is welcome to join to create awareness and create a safer environment!” – Shae Lane and Natalie B.
Go follow GSA’s Instagram @hse.gsa for upcoming events!