PRIDE!Kent swings open doors for those coming out of the closet this week

Regina Garcia Cano

Organization’s week-long events to educate, celebrate

PRIDE!Kent will have a week of celebrations commemorating National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11.

PRIDE!Kent president Leora Rzepka said the weeklong events aim to celebrate people who already came out and to also encourage those who have not done so, to do it.

During the organization’s Thursday meeting, members will talk about their coming out experiences.

“In PRIDE, we’re really happy that anyone comes out,” Rzepka said. “If they haven’t come out before and they’re deciding to come out that night (Thursday), it’s a great time do it because they’ll be surrounded by nothing but support.”

Rzepka said it is important for allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to get involved in the various events. In particular, she said people should attend the screening of the documentaries “Before Stonewall” and “After Stonewall.”

“The movies give them (allies) an in-sight view of what the gay movement has gone through,” Rzepka said. “It’s important to everyone, if not specially allies, to see how the movement has progressed from when it started.”

Gay rights’ advocates Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary established National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, 1987. On that day 500,000 people marched in Washington D.C. for lesbian and gay rights.

Contact minority affairs reporter Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].