Coming Out Week discussion spreads ‘love and language’

By DAN BAUER

Dan Bauer/THE CAMPUS

Coming Out Week, an annual event held by Queers and Allies, began Monday, Oct. 4.

The week included a picnic, a Coming Out Celebration in the campus center and a discussion on love and language in Grounds for Change.

Coming Out Week concludes tonight with an event entitled “Activism and Celebration” to be held in Quigley.

“I’ve been very impressed by the amount of participation and positive attitudes,” said Fiona Hensley, ’12, president of Queers and Allies.

The “Love and Language” event held in GFC yesterday reinforced Hensley’s view.

For two hours, students participated in a roundtable discussion while sipping drinks on QNA’s tab.

Participants ranged from members of Qn’A to psychology and women’s studies classes to students who were just passing through.

“A lot of people came in and out,” Hensley said. “I wish we could have gotten a head count.”

The discussion covered ground from terminology to marriage rights.

“A big thing was taking back offensive terms,” said Rachel Stegemann, ’14, citing “queer” as an example.

The conversation, by all reports, was civil and productive.

“It was respectful,” said Geoff Heinzl, ’11, a member of Qn’A. “Everyone was just seeking some knowledge and understanding.”

Yesterday’s Coming Out Celebration, held in the campus center, was also a success.

Participants had the opportunity to “come out” through a set of rainbow doors on a stage in the campus center lobby.

“People came out as gay, straight, bisexual, human beings,” said Annie Krol, ’13, the vice president of Qn’A. “I came out as Annie Krol.”

Tomorrow, the final day of Coming Out Week, has two components: a “drag day” and an event entitled “Activism and Celebration.”

On drag day, students are invited to “show off their drag clothes all day long,” according to the week’s Facebook event page.

The “Activism and Celebration” event, to be held in Quigley at 8 p.m. does not yet have a final agenda.

Krol, however, mentioned that the event might include letter writing, discussion and “chalking the walk,” an event held every year during Coming Out Week that was rained out on Monday.

Krol was pleased with the Qn’A events so far this week.

“The community has been really open,” Krol said. “[Coming Out Week] is brimming with potential.”