Coming Out Week to start Oct. 10
By Asia Andrews
The office of student life will sponsor six events this month in celebration of LGBTQIA+ Month, beginning with Coming Out Week.
Coming out week is a nationally observed event that is not necessarily a day to come out, but to bring awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community, said student life Director Jacob-Aiden Martinez Oct. 7.
National Coming Out Day was founded in the U.S. in 1988, starting out as feminist and gay liberation activism that encouraged people to “come out” to loved ones and live openly gay or lesbian.
Usually occurring on Oct. 11, Coming Out Day will be celebrated on Oct. 10 at this college to increase student participation.
Jacob-Aidan Martinez, office of student life director, is filling in this year as interim chair of the committee in charge of the observation after Dr. Jonathan Lee, chair of the social work, sociology, early childhood studies, and history department, stepped down.
Martinez also organized this college’s first participation in the Pride Parade in June on Main Avenue.
LGBTQIA+ History Month will open with a National Coming Out Day resource fair 9 a.m-1 p.m. Oct. 10 in the mall.
Students will receive handouts from LGBTQIA+ organizations and have the opportunity to be tested for HIV.
“People should respect other people whether its something they agree with or not, whether it goes against their religion or not, and be educated about what it means to other people,” Martinez said.
Another event scheduled is the LGBTQIA+: Ask Me Anything Day 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 15 in the mall.
Students will be able to ask questions to representatives of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Instead of having Ally Week, following Coming Out Week, student life will have ally and sensitivity training information and opportunities scheduled throughout the year because the LGBTQIA+ community is not just something that is celebrated once a year, Martinez said.
Ally Week was created to encourage youth to become allies to people who are LGBTQIA+ and stand up to harassment in the community.
Martinez said that it is important for this college to be educated about the LGBTQIA+ community because of the campus’s proximity to businesses that serve gay patrons on Main Avenue.
“SAC basically shares property with the nightlife community on ‘the strip,’” he said.
For more information about LGBTQIA+ Month, contact Martinez at 210-486-1208 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.