Castleton’s 1 in 10 Club celebrated National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 with laughter, hugs – and a purpose.
Rainbow flags decorated the solarium of the Campus Center along with a makeshift wooden doorway with shimmering curtains, representing a ‘closet’ of sorts.
Members of the club were warm and welcoming, quick to share a smile and to say hello to passersby and many in the club chose to symbolically walk through the doorways of the “closet.”
Some had already come out as members of the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer community and others walked through coming out as allies. Each walk through the doorway was accompanied by the sound of clapping and cheering by club members as curious bystanders watched with acceptance and interest.
“We’re just happy to bring any awareness to people in the closet, and to symbolize to anyone who is LGBTQ that we’re here to help them emotionally,” said club president Kaylee Robinson. “And giving out the ally shirts to have on campus will help to really show the support that’s on campus.”
National Coming Out Day is a day dedicated to bringing awareness and recognition to those members of the LGBTQ community. It also is a day anyone can come out to proudly disclose his or her sexual orientation and gender identity, something that Castleton’s 1 in 10 Club supports fully. The 1 in 10 Club is named after the statistic that one out of every 10 individuals will identify as LGBTQ.
The event marked a great comeback for the club, its presence having been absent on campus last year.
“Right now we’re really trying to build the group this year, and to build up awareness of the group on campus. We really want to see the club expand, and we want incoming freshman as well as prospective students on tours to know that this is a supportive school. We want people in the school to take the group seriously and to take LGBTQ seriously,” Robinson said. “We’re already looking ahead at different things we could do, such as fund-raising, so we can try and get a guest speaker on campus.”