Homocoming highlights Coming Out Month

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If a student were to take a stroll through campus last week, they were sure to see rows of smiling faces along the sidewalk.  All of Us campaign posters lined the Quad, displaying smiling pictures of people who identified themselves as straight allies. In its fourth year at Saint Louis University, the All of Us campaign seeks to establish an accepting environment for people of all sexual orientations by promoting awareness of straight allies on campus.

“I’m really excited to participate in this tradition because I’ll get to see a more diverse side of campus,” freshman Elizabeth Sabetta said.

To celebrate the “coming out” experience, Rainbow Alliance is hosting several events that bring to light the stories of students who have expressed their sexual orientation to raise awareness about gay and lesbian issues.

Monday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. in the Quad, Rainbow Alliance will be hosting Come Out and Play, the official kickoff event of Coming Out Month. The event will feature music, games and inflatables, giving students a chance to take a break and have some fun while raising awareness about the coming out experience.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, students will have a chance to share and listen to stories and discuss in an open and accepting environment the difficulties surrounding the topic of coming out during an event titled Sharing Our Stories. Students, facility, alumni and staff will speak about the difficulties associated with coming out and being an ally with the gay community during the Coming out Panel on Oct. 26.

The month-long events offer an opportunity for students to see viewpoints from a diverse body of the SLU family.

“Coming Out Month is the best month of the year at SLU,” sophomore Sophie Fisher said.

Fisher said that she is looking forward to the panel because it will be an interesting discussion displaying a wide variety of views and personal backgrounds of the SLU community

At the end of Coming Out Month, Rainbow Alliance holds Homocoming, a dance where all dates are welcome regardless of sexuality, gender, color or religion.

According to Rainbow Alliance, Homocoming 2010, titled “Dancing Under the Northern Lights,” was a success, and the planning committee for this year’s dance said they hope to make the event even better. This year’s dance boasts a “Volcanic Blow-Out” theme, featuring a disc jockey, professional lighting, island décor and a 10-foot tall erupting volcano. The Homocoming committee said they are working diligently to make the event a night to remember.

“I am ecstatic for the culminating Coming Out Month events, ending with Homocoming 2011. To sum up the dance in one word: Lavalicious,” sophomore Homocoming Committee Chair Robbie Barnhart said.