The 3-Year-Old Student Group Comes Into Its Own During Coming
Out Week: Seven Eventful Days That Made the LGBTIQ Community More
of the Fall 2004 Drag Show.
Photo by Brice McGowen.
By Jermaine Caldwell
There was more than just
people coming out this year during the GLBT-SA’s Coming Out Week.
It was evident that the
3-year-old organization itself was making attempts to come out as a
reputable, campus-respected, well-oiled UNC student group. Seven
days packed with high-energy, thought-provoking programming had
hundreds of students and faculty walking out of the woodwork to
witness the wonders that turned out to be Coming Out Week.
The week began on a
Monday of early October in the dimly-lit Cabaret of the Student
Union, where well over 100 people threw what they knew about gender
out of the window as Kate Bornstein, a self-proclaimed gender
outlaw, told tales of being a boy, a man, a lesbian, transgendered
and whatever else she decides to be.
show solidarity by adding Tarheels to "Ally Day" Bridge.
Photo by Brice McGowen.
The next night featured a
“Black and Gay?” forum at which students from the Black Student
Movement and the GLBT-SA gathered to discuss the intersections of
race and sexuality and see where campus organizing (on both parts)
was going wrong.
Wednesday brought with it
social activities to bring people face to face with one another over
snacks at Social Hour and a Half and over friendly competition
during the Bowling Night in the Union Underground.
The week wasn’t without
the opportunity for those affirming of the LGBTIQ community to show
their support. Ally Day, which was Thursday, brought the “straight
but not narrow” crowd out to sign a pledge of support and attend a
Safe Zone training, ran by the LGBTQ Office.
Friday at noon, after
some hush-hush planning, LGBTIQ students quietly gathered in the Pit
to stage a kiss-in, forcing onlookers to question their issues with
diplays of non-heterosexual affection.
A Friday Karaoke Night
allowed participants to sing their way into the weekend - giving
students and faculty alike the energy they needed to last the
weekend until the biggest day of all - National Coming Out Day.
Kate Borstein, author of
Gender Outlaw, performs during Celebration Week. Photo
by Garrett Hall.
The GLBT-SA brought in
Massachusetts State Senator Jarrett Barrios as the keynote speaker.
Barrios talked about his experience with same-gender marriage in his
home state and reminded the crowd that “we can only move forward.” A
few short hours later, a crowd of more than 500 gathered in the
Great Hall for what was arguably the greatest Coming Out Week event
of them all.
“Curious,” the second
annual drag show featured dance troupe miscONcEptions, amateur drag
queens and kings and professional drag queens from around the state.
As usual, stripping, sexually suggestive acts and scantily clad
people of all genders were present at the event - leaving people
unable to believe their eyes.
All of a sudden the week
had come and gone. But it was seven days not easily forgotten.
The GLBT-SA stepped it
up, screamed “I’m coming out” and made for an unforgettable week.