Pride to celebrate important day

Armed with a microphone, two speakers and an emcee, members of EIU Pride will help members of the Eastern community who are keeping secrets about their sexuality, or just secrets in general, on Tuesday.

Oct. 11 is recognized as National Coming Out Day in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community. To celebrate, EIU Pride will have a microphone from noon to 3 p.m. in the Library Quad.

Pride President Nico Canaday said the day is not just about coming out for the LGBT community, but the group also wants others to be able to share secrets not necessarily pertaining to their sexuality.

“It isn’t just for the LGBT community-it’s more about spreading educational awareness across campus,” Canaday said. “We encourage all students to come up and be empowered.”

It is usually a pretty light-hearted event to address a pretty serious issue, he said.

“We don’t want people to be afraid of who they are,” Canaday said.

Coming out is a very important moment in a person’s life and it should be done when the person feels safe, he said.

This is the fifth year EIU Pride has done a coming out day, he said.

“People come and go all day and 50 people come and share on average,”

Canaday said.

While EIU Pride is expecting people to come out and share, it also has respect for those that choose not to do so during the provided time, he said.

“We don’t think it is bad for people to not come out but if they do want to come out then we are giving them a pretty cool opportunity,” Canaday said. “That is their choice.”

Sexually is not only a personal issue it can also be a political statement as well, Canaday said.

Eastern has been particularly helpful to its LGBT members, he said.

“Eastern has been very supportive-lots of places might feel uncomfortable giving a whole bunch of gays a microphone,” Canaday said.

Canaday said the great thing about college is that organizations are able to do a lot with educating people about homosexuality.

“It encourages a more engaged environment-a better place to be gay and talk about LGBT issues,” he said.

EIU Pride meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in the Charleston-Mattoon Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]