Campus observes diversity
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National Coming Out Day, a day devoted to honoring the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, is being celebrated at San Jose City College.
SJCC will have an Arts and Lectures event Thursday, Oct. 17 in the Technology Center Auditorium (T-414) at 6:30 p.m. The free seminar will consist of coming-out stories.
Also, there’s a special display on the second floor of the library honoring the LGBT community.
The display contains books, movies, and news information surrounding the LGBT community. A decorative sign in a rainbow background reads “National Coming Out Day OUTober”
The movie “The Times of Harvey Milk” will be played in the Student Center room 204 Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Celebrities coming out has been more frequent and accepting in 2013.
Last January, Jodie Foster revealed she is a lesbian during her Golden Globe Awards acceptance speech.
NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly-gay athlete on a major U.S. sports team.
Both Charice Pempengco, “Glee” actress, and Raven Symone, former Disney actress,came out as lesbians this past year. Both have been huge stars for youthful audiences.
Wentworth Miller, the star of the show “Prison Break,” said he is gay when explaining he would not go to an event in Russia because of their anti-gay laws.
Perhaps the biggest coming-out story goes to Clive Davis. At 80 years old, the man responsible for hundreds of musical acts, including Whitney Houston, said he was bisexual in his memoir, “The Soundtrack of My Life.”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s hit song “Same Love” is described as a “powerful pop culture anthem” by Billboard.com.
This song represents a change in the hip-hop community, which hasn’t expressed love for the LGBT community in the past. “No freedom til we’re equal/ Damn right I support it,” says Macklemore in the song’s lyrics.
The date Oct. 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the gay and lesbian march to Washington in 1987.
In the first National Coming Out Day, only 18 states participated in the empowering day. By the third NCOD all 50 states got involved according to Human Rights Campaign.
Most high schools and colleges have active gay-straight alliances or other forms of a LGBT club, but SJCC hasn’t had one in at least four years.
SJCC librarian Joseph King said that a main reason why this campus doesn’t have a gay-straight alliance is because no one was willing to do all the work it takes to hold up the club.
“The club requires time keeping, showing up to student government meetings, collecting members and it can be a lot of work,” King said.
King will be creating a Safe Zone Program this semester which is aimed at helping LGBT people and creating a safe and positive space.
“The gay population has the highest rates of suicides and hate crimes,” said King, “so coming out as LGBT can be a brave and life changing experience.”
This new program is being adopted by our school because of the new bill AB620, which requires community colleges to designate spaces where LGBT people can turn to for guidance and support.