Hamline News

Celebrating the LGBTQIA+ Community

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October 11 is National Coming Out Day, which celebrates the personal act of people coming out to family or friends about their sexuality or gender identity. This day also raises awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community and advocates for equal civil rights for this community.

National Coming Out Day was first celebrated in 1988, and it falls on October 11 because it is the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. October is also LGBTQIA+ History Month, which is an important time to reflect and recognize that historical events within the LGBTQIA+ community are more often than not overlooked.

“I think it is important that we recognize and celebrate LGBTQIA+ History Month because our history is often erased.” said senior Conner Suddick, who works as the Communications Assistant at Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs. “When there is a time specifically dedicated to learning and celebrating our identities, it is a radical act that resists the notion that LGBTQIA+ can be forgotten and erased. We are here, and we have made our mark in history.”

Hamline University Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs devote their time to make sure all Hamline students feel heard, welcome and supported. They work to create an inclusive culture for LGBTQIA+ people and provide opportunities for the entire campus to learn about LGBTQIA+ history, identity and relationships.

As part of this month’s festivities, Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs threw the LGBTQIA+ History Month Kickoff event on October 1, and are thrilled to host the LGBTQIA+ History Month Keynote Speaker Kate Bornstein. Bornstein will be discussing “Reconciling Transgender and Religion: A Tao of Mitzvah, Martyrdom, Sabbath, and Boddhisatva” during a keynote address on Monday, October 29 from 4-6 p.m. in Drew Science 118.

Other events this month include a coming out day photobooth today from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Anderson forum, a myth busting intersex event, drag shows, and a Coming Out Day Vigil in the Gathering Place in Sorin Hall tonight at 8 p.m.

Another student who also works for Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs, K Mcclendon, spoke about the importance of giving extra love to those you know in the queer community, especially if those people are people of color.

“Being black and queer is not easy. Pay attention and listen to your friends’ experience if they are opening up. Take care of them. “ said Mcclendon. “We need to celebrate visibility, we need representation, and we need others to be proud and say ‘I see you and you are important.’”

Mcclendon mentioned t. aaron hans, who leads the Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs, as their ‘queer patronus guide’ and said that he has helped them be proud of their identity.

“I want the Hamline community to understand the legacy of violence and suppression toward expressing LGBTQIA+ identities, which continue to occur across the world.” said Suddick. “Furthermore, I want the Hamline community to witness and celebrate the resilience of those who fought against injustice toward LGBTQIA+ and continue to fight for it. LGBTQIA+ history is not only about the violence toward us, but a need to inform ourselves. Building knowledge and awareness allows us as a society not repeat history, and build a brighter future for us all.”

Each and every student should feel that they are valued, loved, and accepted in the Hamline community, no matter their identity. Coming out can be a painful and sometimes harmful experience that many identities cannot do because of a plethora of reasons.

Suddick emphasized, “We value your experience no matter where you are on your journey of self-exploration, and we hope you reach out to Hamline’s various programs that can provide support or guidance if needed.”

The Queer2Peer mentoring program connects first-year or transfer students with a peer in a safe and confidential relationship meant to provide guidance, support, and resources for students who want to learn more about their identity and the Hamline LGBTQIA+ community.  

To get into contact with Hamline Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs or the LGBTQIA Coalition, which is another group meant to strengthen the support for LGBTQIA+ individuals at Hamline, email t. aaron hans at tahans@hamline.edu. You can also like Hamline Sexualities and Gender Diversity Programs on Facebook for news and events updates. You can also find LGBTQIA+ resources on the Hamline website

10/11/18
Autumn Vagle and Emma Larson