Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LGBTieS Comes Out!

The ETSU student newspaper, The East Tennessean had a front page article about LGBTieS, the student-run gay-straight alliance group. This group does critically important work on the campus of ETSU:
LGBTieS, ETSU's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender student organization, recently held their Coming Out event on campus for ETSU students and community members to gather together to discuss their personal coming out stories and other related experiences.

The organization's main goal is to create a space where people are comfortable being themselves and sharing their life experiences, said LGBTieS President Evan Baker.

"Coming out is a momentous step for each and every member of the LGBTQ population, and no matter if the experience was positive or negative, we all deserve a platform to share our own unique story," Baker said.

Wednesday night that platform was Room 227 in Rogers-Stout Hall which was packed with more than 20 individuals sharing stories of personal discovery and expression.

"It was great that no one really had horrific tales to share, detailing being kicked out of their home or disowned," said Baker. "You can't pretend that those things do not happen, but it is also good to see that such a large group can all have relatively positive stories to share."

Everyone in the room shared their experiences coming out to their families and friends and while some have come completely out to their loved ones, others are still working on telling everyone in their lives who they truly are. Despite being in a diverse and educated college environment, the ETSU students who shared their stories at Wednesday's night event are proof that diversity and sexual orientation are still issues for some of our peers.

"Coming out is easier for our generation but only to a certain extent," said Baker. "Though I did tell a few people that I was gay while still in high school, I would never have been able to be out to everyone. "

LGBTieS is an organization that is working to bring acceptance and tolerance to ETSU and the local community. They meet Wednesday nights at 7:15 in Rogers-Stout Hall Room 227. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or straight - everyone is welcome to attend meetings and get involved in promoting equality in the community.
LGBTieS rocks. Check them on Facebook. While you are there, find PFLAG Tri-Cities!
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