LGBriTS seek ally support through coming-out week

Albion’s campus turned rainbow themed as the LGBriTS student organization hosted the annual Coming-Out Week 2012 through Oct. 712 .

LGBriTS’ goal is to advocate for Gender and Sexuality Minority (GSM) rights, but also to provide a support network for GSM students. This week involved painting the rock, an HIV/AIDS awareness talk, a coming out panel, an ally gathering, an amateur drag show and a pride parade.

Kayla Knight, Commerce senior and president of LGBriTs, believes that this week is a way to tell the campus ‘hey we still exist,’ but also to communicate with the students in both meaningful and flamboyant ways.

“Our basic reason to exist on campus is to be a support system to our members and to the campus,” Knight said.  “One of the most meaningful events of the week was the ‘coming out panel’ where the participants were able to hear personal stories of peoples coming out, and that’s what the week is all about.”

A week prior to these events, a discussion was held at Wesley with first-years, recognizing that this may be the first time that the first-years are exposed to the GSM community and reinforced Albion’s policy towards respecting and affirming diversity.

“This weeks stands for Albion College trying to make a move in becoming accepting and inclusive to all students,” said Phil Carlisle, Indianapolis, Ind., sophomore. “It means a lot that the administration, faculty and staff have been showing support.”

Members of the LGBriTS community agreed that Albion is moving slowly but surely to acceptance, and although it is not as fast some may like, it’s happening.

On Oct. 12, the organization hosted a campus favorite, the annual amateur drag show. This event included students dressing up in wigs, baggy pants, sparkly bras, high heels and more in order to strut their stuff to “Lady Gaga” and “Mulan” on the Kellogg Center dance floor.

“This is one of our favorite events,” Knight said.  “It’s a way for the members to interact with the campus, but also to release tension in a fun and crazy way.”

The Stack was full as students piled in to support the LGBriTs or experience something completely new.

“I have a lot of friends who are preforming here tonight,” said Zachary Kribs, Mason sophomore.  “I just like to support them and the LGBTQ community. This is a great thing for the campus in order to raise awareness.”

Katelyn Tong, Midland freshman, preformed in the drag show after involving herself in the LGBrITS organization this year.

“It seemed like a lot of fun and I figured why not participate,” Tong said.  “The LGBriTS are really great support system on this campus, and it’s great to be a part of something like that.”

At the end of the night, two students were jointly crowned the winners with a sparkly tiara, after their performances of Lady Gaga’s and Beyoncé’s “Telephone.”

Coming-Out Week was concluded by the pride parade on Friday. Students were encouraged to show their pride and support by marching throughout campus with signs, flags and apparel.

Photo by Sophie Nielsen

About Jillian Putnam 34 Articles
Jillian is senior graduating in 2014 with a double major in English and Anthropology and a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She has a passion for travel and culture, hoping to pursue a career with National Geographic one day. Until then, she enjoys writing, cooking, and playing with her hedgehog. Contact her at jmp15@albion.edu, @JillianPutnam .

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