Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
It’s difficult to walk to class these days without stepping on flamboyant expressions claiming “homo love is the best kind of love” or “Boys will do boys”. This week marks Swat’s “Coming Out Week”, designated as a week to celebrate National Coming Out Day, which occured during October break on October 11th. “We want to show that Swarthmore is a queer safe space and provide support for all LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transsexual/Questioning) students,” comments organizer Matthew Armstead ’08.
“Coming Out Week” was organized by Swarthmore’s Queer Union, Queer Straight Alliance, and COLORS. They have hosted many activities this week to increase awareness of LGBTQ issues, including some for Discovery Weekend. The week was kicked off by a movie showing of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”. In recognition of Swarthmore’s different ethnic backgrounds, some of the cultural groups have organized events sensitive to certain ethnicities. For example. on Tuesday, SAO sponsored a workshop on Asian Sexuality. Guatemalan lesbian activist Claudia Acevado presented a lecture and hosted a Q&A meeting. To provide support to those who are questioning their sexuality, Small Group held a Questioning Meeting. COLORS, a group on campus for queers students of color, held “Coming Out, Staying In”, as a mode to share stories about coming out or staying in. To prevent alienation, many of the events are open to all students. On Tuesday, QSA sponsored the QSA lunch centering around ways to become a Queer Ally.
Today, the movie “Blue Gate Crossing” will be screened at the big IC room. Regie Cabico, famed gay filipino-american artist will be holding a workshop on performing art at 7:00 p.m. in LPAC. Regie Cabico will also be performing at the Open Mic at 8:00 p.m. which is open to all students interested in performing. Saturdaynight students can expect to see a completely transformed Paces during the Coming Out party. “We’re going to completely change the theme of Paces,” explained Armstead.
Coming Out Week, an annual tradition, has “had a great response this year,” adds Armstead. Though some of the chalked signs and stickers have made students uncomfortable, “that’s the point, though the campus is really liberal, there is still a lot of work to be done,” he explained.