Gays, bisexuals and their allies celebrate coming out

Carla Triviño/ Contributing Writer

Edwin Serrano, graduate assistant for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer and Allies initiative, said the gay community is making history.

To celebrate the communities achievements, the office of Multicultural Programs and Services will host a National Coming Out Day event on Friday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 the Biscayne Campus in Panther Square.

Likewise, the day will be celebrated at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus in the Graham Center Pit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It will encourage and praise people openly declaring their sexual orientation, as well as LGBTQA legal victories.

“We want people to come see what the hype is all about,” said Serrano.

Last year, the Federal Supreme Court removed a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples.

This year, the State of Florida’s gay community and civil rights activists fought for transgender rights in the workplace, and judges are ruling the Marriage Ban unconstitutional.

Kathleen Hernandez, a public relations freshman and student ambassador for LGBTQA, is surprised by the level of support and activism in Miami.

“It’s cool — there’s so much going on that I didn’t know about in my backyard,” Hernandez said.

Serrano said he expects people to be more open about their sexual orientation now that it’s legally accepted. However, he doesn’t want to focus on politics on this day.

One of the highlights this year is a surprise lip-sync performance, according to Serrano, who hopes will attract a larger crowd.

Serrano said he wants the event to be centered on the lives of LGBTQA students and hopes that more international students participate.

According to FIU student population data, Hispanic and minority students make up 69 percent of the University’s student population.

Serrano said due to their conservative background, international students don’t come to these events much.

“It’s really rare to receive international students coming and asking for support,” said Serrano, who said that if they end up attending an event, they think its only for gays.

He said the day is for everyone to come together and accept each other’s differences.

Testimonials from different LGTBQA members will be shared as a way to help educate those in the gay community.

The is a darker tone to this day according to Serrano.

Some attendees have been bullied into admitting their sexual orientation, while others experienced rejection and neglect from close relatives and the public.

Yet, Serrano said lessons can be learned from these negative stories. He said the event will benefit both straight and LGTBQA students, as it will help them become more aware of their surroundings.

“LGBTQA is also open to straight folks who are our allies and supporting their friends,” Serrano said. “By exposing them to progressive thinking and an open society, it does let them learn a little about being a global citizen.”

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