University celebrates LGBT History Month

October is LGBT History Month in the United States and many events are being hosted in celebration of the civil rights movement.

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is a prominent part of LGBT History Month. For 28 years, members of the LGBTQ+ community have celebrated Oct. 11 as NCOD. This day, founded in 1988, commemorated the one year anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

This day was created to celebrate the milestone of coming out, according to the Human Rights Campaign. It has become a popular time for individuals across the nation to come out to their family and friends as being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

PRIDE, a LGBTQ+ organization here on campus, hosted an event for NCOD. From 7-9 p.m., members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies attended an event around the seal outside of the Ragsdale Center.

Due to the fact that this day has become an important time for those in the LGBTQ+ community to come out, some may feel pressure to do so, even if they are not ready. The PRIDE organization stressed the importance of waiting until you are ready to make the decision to come out to your family and friends in an e-mail sent to its members.

“To those a part of the LGBTQ+ community, we cannot stress enough that if you have not yet come out, or don’t feel comfortable sharing, please don’t feel obligated to. PRIDE is, and will always be, a safe space to everyone,” the email said.

PRIDE remains one of the largest resources for those in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

Student Life at St. Edward’s, which advertises NCOD as one of their annual diversity events, hosted an event called “A Spectrum of Faith” Oct. 12.

This event focused on the sometimes conflicting relationship between religion and identifying as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. A Spectrum of Faith combined storytelling and poetry to illustrate the experiences of those struggling with their faith and sexual or gender identity.

The Division of Student Affairs also provides LGBTQ+ ally training for its staff. This training teaches staff members to “explore how our Holy Cross mission and values promote compassion for the LGBTQ community through recognition of the importance of human dignity,” according to the university website.

In addition to celebrations at St. Edward’s, events are happening in Austin. From a presidential debate screening party at gay bar, Rain, to a showing of the movie “The Mask You Live In,” at the University of Texas at Austin, there are various ways for members of the community to get involved and express their appreciation for the movement.

Another event being put on by Student Life, in partnership with the Health and Counseling Center and Campus Ministry, is called “Q and g(A)y.” This event was created as a safe place where students can ask questions about the LGBTQ+ community, and will take place Oct. 19.