LGBTQ Resource Center, Triangle Coalition celebrate Coming Out Week

The week's events are to celebrate LGBTQ History Month.

Former NFL player Esera Tuaolo is coming to MU to speak for Coming Out Week in celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning History Month being hosted by the LGBTQ Resource Center.

Triangle Coalition Vice President Sean Jarvis said this week is about making it easier to come out.

"On the one hand, the lived experiences of queer people will be easier and will be better the more visibility there is," Jarvis said. "For me it's a cycle. The more people come out, the better the conditions are. The better the conditions, the more people will come out. That is the key to gaining grounding and gaining a political standing as a community."

Monday, the LGBTQ community co-hosted Pride Week Rainbow Crafts with the Craft Studio. Students could create friendship bracelets and door hangers. TriCo also contributed beads to the craft studio.

"Co-programming is always about the relationship between two different offices," Jarvis said. "We wanted to help the Craft Studio by sending students from our community to go participate in activities there so that students from our community know about them and know they can use them as a resource in the future."

Craft Studio Coordinator Kelsey Hammond said the Craft Studio has been a part of Coming Out Week for several years.

"We love our LGBTQ friends," Hammond said. "(The crafts) are something they can wear all week, and that's a great thing. We want to help out with that."

Hammond said 15 people pre-registered to make crafts Monday, but Jarvis said he expects more of a turnout Friday because it's something the Craft Studio has done in the past.

On Friday students will have the opportunity to make fabric rings.

Inside Out, an organization associated with the LGBTQ Resource Center, met Monday night to share personal coming out stories. Jarvis said Inside Out's basic premise is to use each other as resources.

"Not just news reports or textbooks or any of those things," Jarvis said. "It's the idea that we are all valid sources of knowledge."

Jarvis said it's also about diverging those personal experiences and seeing what people have in common.

Tuesday consists of a lunch info session by Delta Lambda Phi, a national fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men, an Allies in Action pride parade and a discussion on coming out in minority communities hosted by Queer People of Color.

Tuaolo will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Memorial Student Union's Bengal Lair after the National Coming Out Day Photo on the back steps of Jesse Hall by Francis Quadrangle.

Friday there will be another crafts event followed by Queer Happy Hour at The Heidelberg from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Peace Nook is also contributing to Coming Out Week by discounting all Pride merchandise by 20 percent this week, according to an e-mail from LGBTQ Resource Center coordinator Ryan Black.

"(This week) is mostly about the lived experience," Jarvis said.

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