GALA begins collecting anonymous coming out stories

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Students will read messages submitted Oct. 18 at the organization’s weekly meeting.

By Shamona Wali

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

In celebration of National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, the Gay Ally Lesbian Association is encouraging students to write messages of their experiences in coming out or positive messages to help others in an event called the Anonymous Narrative Box.

President Juan Martinez, education sophomore, purchased two boxes shaped like question marks and plans to place them across campus and encourage students to write messages about their coming out stories or positive messages to those who may still be reluctant to reveal their sexual preferences.

“I want students to know that these messages will be kept in complete confidentiality and that people are free to write as specifically or as vaguely as they’d like,” Martinez said during an interview Oct. 10.

“We want this to be an opportunity for students on campus to speak freely about their stories and ideas in a safe environment,” he continued. “Due to the negative stigma toward the LGBTQ community in the politics of today, we want to stress a sense of unity by creating a way of for both LGBTQ and even non-LGBTQ students to express themselves.”

This event started Oct. 9 with a tent set up in the mall.

Martinez and Treasurer Andy Jimenez, art sophomore, started collecting messages Oct. 9 with a box placed on a table shared with the San Antonio AIDS Foundation.

Another box was placed on the microwave oven in the dining area on the first floor in Loftin Student Center.

The messages will be collected Oct. 18 and will be read out loud during the club’s weekly general meeting 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the faculty and staff lounge in Loftin.

Martinez welcomes anyone to come in and listen to the messages.

“The point of this event isn’t necessarily to bring in tons of messages,” he said. “Even if there is a low turnout, we see it as a start to bringing this idea or topic into light.

“We just want students to begin talking about these things,” he said. “I see this event as a way to bond and share our stories so that we can remind ourselves that we are not alone and that we can’t be divided.”

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