Editor, Daily Nexus,
I was very happy to see an article written in the front page of today’s Daily Nexus about a National Coming Out Day rally in Santa Barbara on Friday. National Coming Out Day occurs every Oct. 11, and it commemorates the anniversary of the 1987 March for Lesbian & Gay Equality where over 500,000 people converged in Washington, D.C. to demand equal civil rights. Today it continues to be honored by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer community as a visible expression of our pride and a call for equality.
On campus at UCSB we had several events last week in honor of this day. One of them was a rally on Friday, at which over 100 students, faculty and staff participated. However, I was disappointed that the Daily Nexus chose to report on an event that occurred in downtown Santa Barbara at which only 20 people attended. Obviously, the campus rally was not only larger, but was much more meaningful and relevant to the UCSB campus community. This campus event highlights the courage and bravery of so many members of our community who, against the threat of discrimination, choose to come out of the closet and publicly state their sexual orientation with pride. Channel 3 KEY-TV felt that our campus event was important enough to report on the evening news, but the Nexus ignored it.
Students from several groups – including the Queer Student Union (QSU), Queer People of Color (QPOC), and the Queer Grad Network – helped in coordinating this year’s events. At the rally were not only inspirational speakers, such as academic advisor Jack Rivas and Janet Stanley – the executive director of Santa Barbara’s Pacific Pride Foundation – but there were also the student-coordinated guerilla theater and entertainment by the students of the Radical Cheerleaders, and the drag king troupe the Disposable Boy Toys.
Although I was happy to see such positive coverage of the downtown event, I feel that the Daily Nexus missed the bigger story and an event that was more relevant to the students at UCSB.
Our office provides a resource to the entire UCSB community, and I would invite anyone interested in finding out more about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or ally campus issues to check out our website at www.sa.ucsb.edu/sgd.