National Coming Out Day


Lake Land College’s official PRIDE Club logo. Photo via LLC’s PRIDE club.​​

Audra Gullquist, Editor-in-Chief

Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day. This is a day to raise awareness and support for the LGBTQIA+ community to “come out of the closet.” Coming Out Day is a celebration for everyone queer to tell their truth, share their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and be authentically themselves. 


National Coming Out Day started on Oct. 11, 1987, when over half a million people marched in Washington D.C. to take a stand for queer rights. This movement caused the founding of many LGBTQIA+ organizations and activists Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary to create the official event of National Coming Out Day. 


Lake Land College’s PRIDE Club recognizes and honors the struggles and hard work the LGBTQIA+ community has undergone throughout history. PRIDE club wants to create a welcoming and positive space for everyone who chooses to celebrate Coming Out Day. Every October, the PRIDE club sponsors a display for Coming Out Day that can be viewed in the lobby of Student Services. Their display includes resources and information about coming out and the day’s history. 


Marcy Satterwhite, LLC’S PRIDE club Sponsor, defined coming out as “kind of a process. First, you have to come out to yourself and realize how you fit on the spectrum. Because there definitely is a spectrum, and it changes. It’s a journey. You have to come out to yourself first and realize, ‘Hey, I have these feelings that don’t fit into what I thought I should do.’ That’s the biggest part of coming out. The scary part is coming out to other people.” 


Satterwhite also stated that an LGBTQIA+ member never stops coming out to the public. It isn’t a one-time event for most because our society assumes that everyone is cisgender and heterosexual. She stated, “I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked “Where is your husband?” or “What does your husband do?” because they assume, “Oh, you’re a woman, you must have a husband.” They don’t assume you don’t. You constantly have to come out to people. Others don’t realize that.” 


According to Satterwhite, the PRIDE club’s goal is to “provide a safe place for our members of the community and to also educate others.” This past spring, the club held an informational panel in which members of the PRIDE club told their coming-out stories and answered questions from the audience. This event was very well attended by students and staff. The club also attends many “unofficial” club events, such as the Champaign/Urbana PRIDE Festival Events on Oct. 1, 2022. 


PRIDE club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. There are three meetings left for the 2022 year. These meetings are held in Webb Hall, room 105, and are full of laughs, friendly faces and an overall warm and accepting energy. Anyone with an open mind is welcome to join. Even if you are not a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, you can still join to learn how to become a better ally. To see meeting times, you can check the various fliers located around campus or join the canvas group that includes club information. 


On Oct. 11, remember to celebrate National Coming Out Day positively. If you plan on coming-out on this day, make sure to do it at your own pace and remember that all coming out processes are different. If you’re struggling with your sexual and/or gender identity or just need a safe space, stop by the next PRIDE club meeting on Oct.12 at 11 a.m.

Facebook Comments Box