Happy National Coming Out Week!

This week is National Coming Out Week (NCOW) and here at Salem State University the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office are hosting many events to get students involved with the LGBTQIA+ community on campus! This is a great opportunity for you to become more aware of the diversity that Salem State has to offer and attend some great programs!

The week started with a Transgender Flag Raising Ceremony. During community time students, staff, faculty, and community members were welcome to gather outside of Ellison Campus Center for some quick regards from members of the Salem State community, the SGA President, and President Meservey herself. The flag was raised outside of the Ellison Campus Center for all to see. This is a very important moment for the University, as it shows that this campus is one that prides itself in diversity and acceptance for all students. It is also a big deal because Salem Sate is the first state school in Massachusetts to raise a Trans flag on campus! Community members were also able to dip their hand in paint to decorate a banner for the week!

 

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(photos from the SSU Alliance Instagram @ssualliance)

 

Later that night there was a Queer Talent show in Starbucks where students were able to perform and openly talk about their queer identity. There were 8 students who performed, and a full house for folks in the audience! The acts ranged from Slam Poetry, Singing, Comedy, Hypnosis, and much more!

Today, from 11-1pm there was a Rainbow Resource Fair in Alumni Plaza (outside of Ellison) for student to visit tables of local Queer Resources! The Alliance had a table, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and lots of great outside organizations including: NAGLY, North shore Pride, Fenway Health, HGBC, the Human Rights Campaign, and much more!

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Tomorrow there is going to be Coming Out stories in the MLK room of the Ellison Campus center starting at 4:30, this is an opportunity for students to get comfortable and talk about their coming out experience, if they’re comfortable, anyone is welcome to come and share! Last year, this was one of our biggest events and many folks were inspired to talk more freely about their Queer identity. This is a B.Y.O.B event (Bring Your Own Blanket!!!) because we try to make it very comfortable and relaxing for folks! There will be an array of drinks and snacks, so bring a story and an appetite!

The last event for NCOW will be on Thursday in Ellison Campus Center and it will be Queer Prom: Queery Night! This is alternative prom for folks who were not able to be themselves at their prom in high school. Many Queer individuals aren’t able to dress how they want to or bring the person they want to prom so this is an opportunity for students to truly be themselves in a safe and comfortable setting! Tickets are on sale in the Alliance Office (Ellison 206) for $10 for SSU students and $15 for non-SSU guest. Food will be served and formal wear is encouraged, but not necessary! For more information, check out the event link below!

https://www.facebook.com/events/341561049524832/

queer-prom

(photos from the SSU Alliance Instagram @ssualliance)

After this week of events I encourage people to continue to seek out more knowledge and resources about this community of individuals. The more knowledgeable we are as a community, the more love and acceptance we can spread! With all of the great things happening around us like the legalization of gay marriage in the United States and a Trans protection bill, and even more locally, the Preferred Name Policy being implemented at Salem State, we are a leading example of what an institution should look like! Take pride in yourself and your University!

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