Students to celebrate Coming Out Day with rally
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 01:10
Tufts Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) will host a rally in celebration of National Coming Out Day this Wednesday at noon on the lower patio of the Mayer Campus Center.
The rally will provide a chance for students and faculty to share their stories and experiences about coming out in a public setting, according to QSA President Bruce Bausk.
“It is a day to have affirmation of your identity and to show support and solidarity for members of the LGBT community,” Bausk, a sophomore, said.
The rally is divided into a segment with speakers invited by QSA and an open microphone segment for all students to share their stories, according to Director of the LGBT Center Tom Bourdon.
“For me the meaning is to show what a vibrant and active LGBT and queer community we have on campus and how many allies we have that are willing to come and show support and speak up for the LGBT community,” Bourdon said. “For some people it is also a chance to publicly say who they are, which can be scary but also very empowering at the same time.”
Bourdon suspects that few students will take the rally as an opportunity to come out for the first time, but instead it will be another phase in their coming out.
“It is probably a small percentage of people that are coming out for the first time ever, but for many it is their first time saying it into a microphone in front of a large group of people, many of whom they don’t know,” Bourdon said. “I think that queer people are constantly having to out themselves. Every day you might have to do so. It isn’t like once you are out, you are out.”
QSA has reached out to many parts of the Tufts community in an effort to show support from all aspects of campus life, Bausk said.
“We invited members of the Tufts community who have either expressed that they are out or have spoken at the rally in the past,” he said. “We also reached out to the Group of Six due to the importance of inclusion, representation and solidarity among the many diverse communities here at Tufts.”
QSA will be distributing 400 rainbow flag pins in advance of the event for members of the community to wear as they have done in years past, according to Bausk.
“This is always a great sign of support on campus that goes towards helping people feel comfortable,” he said. “QSA is trying to make the National Coming Out Day a safer space where anyone and everyone can feel welcome, accepted and included.”
In preparation for the event, QSA will hold a discussion about coming out at its weekly meeting on Monday at 9 p.m. in the Sophia Gordon Multipurpose Room, according to Bausk.
The rally is open to anyone that would like to attend, Bausk added.
“The Coming Out Day Rally will focus primarily on coming out within the LGBTQ community, but of course all are welcome to celebrate whatever ‘coming out’ means to you on this day,” he said.