National Coming Out Day 2020



How To Participate (begins Monday, October 12)

  • Send in a word of affimration, words of encouragement, or words of support to our CSU community who is thinking of coming out, are recently out, questioning, or everything in between! 
  • Send in an image/ picture that represents Queer Joy. Pride will then compile pictures into a CSU Pride mosaic featured on our Instagram.
  • Valid CSU ID # Required 
  • Open to CSU Students/ Faculty/ Staff
  • Submission link for National Coming Out Day Treat
Coming Out

National Coming Out Day is the annual celebration of people who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Celebrated on October 11, this year will mark the 32nd anniversary of the National March on Washington. Recognizing the importance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people allows for the LGBTQ+ communtiy to highlight the issues that affect civil rights. While there are those who identify as LGBTQ+, the statistics continue to grow at an exponential rate, showing that up to 4.1 percent of people in the United States identified as LGBTQ+ from 2012 to 2014. Encouraging people to come out in a safe environment allows them to grow away from the compulsive heterosexuality that has been imposed on society. With issues of hate crimes and homophobia still affecting those in the LGBTQ+ community to this day, the national holiday allows people to express their pride even if they are still in the closet. As the marginalized minority speaks out every year, the boldness of those who have come before in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights creates a path for the continuation of equal rights for the individuals.

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The Life & Legacy of Matthew Shepard

Content Warning: Imagery & Language regarding assault, homophobia, death

Portrait picture of Matthew Shepard wearing a gray sweater.

Portrait picture of Matthew Shepard wearing gray sweater. Courtesy of Gina Van Hoof

Who was Matthew? Matthew Shepard was an openly gay student at the University of Wyoming who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime. He was approached by two men at a bar who introduced themselves as gay men and promised him a ride home. Instead, he was violently assaulted, tied to a fence in freezing temperatures, and left to die. He was brought to Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins on October 7th, 1998 and he died on October 12th, 1998. The hospital also refused to charge his family for the care that was administered to keep him alive for as long as they did, as the cost would've been $1 million.

Why does this matter? Because his death, along with the death of James Byrd, led to the passing of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by Congress in 2009. There was no official act regarding hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals prior to its passing. The rise of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in the '90s also prompted student activism on campus and ultimately led to the opening of an LGBTQ+ resource center. The Pride Resource Center was opened as the GLBT Student Services Office on August 1st, 1998. It is important to honor Shepard as his death was one of the major events of that decade that really accelerated the push towards LGBTQ+ equality and his legacy is a lasting one that will continue to propel the movement.

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Art by Carole R, 24'.
Colored pencil, white out and brush pen on paper. Many individuals who have come out (including myself) had been living life inside a "shell" that allowed us to blend in in to what is often an unaccepting world. When I came out, I didn't liken my hiding to a closet, a closet seems too roomy to describe how I felt when I was hiding who I was. I view heteronormativity as a suit, like one of those mascot costumes that leaves you little room to breathe and that you can't escape from. I wanted to embody the idea that "before you begin a new life, you have to die first", in this case, heteronormativity dies and a new queer identity is born.

Thank you to our 2020 partners!