National Coming Out Day!

The Gay-Straight Alliance is an organization on the UC campus that I am fortunate to be a part of. The GSA tries to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for any individuals that are a part of the UC community, regardless of sexuality.

A great part about the organization is their work to further the education and knowledge of all individuals with regard to the lgbtqia+ community. They do that by providing safe spaces at their meetings, at bonding nights, and at events that are held through out the semester.

One event that happened last Thursday was the annual “Coming Out Stories” event that showcased GSA members and non-members telling their stories about how they decided to come out with their sexuality. The event is one of my favorites to attend because it showcases the true struggles that some people have to go through to become comfortable and confident with who they are. …Not all of the stories are sad though! Some are quite funny, depending on the story.

If you missed out on the heartfelt event, no worries! There are loads of Gay-Straight Alliance events planned for the rest of this semester and next! And, the event is annual because it is done in honor of National Coming Out Day that is every year in October… so be sure to catch it next year!

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(The GSA had some pretty cool tshirts to advertise for the event this year.)
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(Jeff, an area coordinator for tower/bell and alumni, came up to tell his story.)
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(The GSA fam after the event.)

Ally Week: How Utica College’s Gay-Straight Alliance is Spreading Equality

March 3rd-7th is Ally Week here at Utica College! Throughout the week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), the Gay-Straight Alliance will be posted outside the caf from 12-2 pm. There, you can find a photoshoot area, complete with rainbow flag, where you can take your very own “No H8” picture.

(My own “No H8”  ally picture.)

The concept of the photoshoot comes from the successful campaign venture started in California by the No H8 Organization in protest of “Proposition 8.” Proposition 8 was a state constitutional amendment by the state of California which many felt violated the rights of LGBTQIA individuals. The proposition was passed in 2008, and then ruled unconstitutional in 2010. Despite the proposition no longer being relevant, the idea behind the campaign still remains valid: Equality.

(No H8 supporters, Francis S. Bartkowiak and Georgie Archundia)

The club encourages EVERYONE to come out and show your support; support for the equality of ALL people. The emphasis is on “Ally” week, however, and if you are an individual that identifies as straight, you are equally encouraged to come take a picture!

(Karita Rawlins, Courtney Hryniowski, and Me: Straight Allies)

(Jesse Haggerty, Proud GSA Member)

So come on out this week (March 3rd-7th) and help encourage people to love, and live, freely.