In response to Robert Carrasco’s article “Pride Day Ended Up Being Shameful, Not Celebratory” (Daily Nexus, Oct. 14) we’d like to say that if he wanted kittens and bubbles for his National Coming Out Day, then he should have organized his own march and open mic.
National Coming Out Day is in recognition of an activist demonstration because there has been no mechanism for Queers to previously be heard. The whole point is to be out, loud and proud about being a queer person. That’s why there were chants such as “the queers united, will never be defeated,” “whose university? The queers university,” “queer pride, hell yeah, queer power, hell yeah, queer unity, hell yeah.”
However, one can easily forget that because we are all oppressed due to our sexual identities it must mean we all get along or have no other identities or issues that must be addressed. If anything, what happened at the open mic will open up dialogue about a community that still faces many obstacles and prejudices among its own members. National Coming Out Day is supposed to be celebratory, but we cannot gloss over the tensions within the community because it will continue to divide us. We need each other, including our allies, to build solidarity and to gain rights and acceptance within a queer-phobic society.
If we, as a community, pretend that there are no other pertinent issues other than the topic of our sexual identity, we have failed to be that, “loving, supportive community.” There was a time limit to the open mic because an older white gay male, unfortunately, dominated it. His story should be respected as anyone else’s, but in order to get respect, one must first give it. This man took up the majority of the time, therefore making the student space not a student space anymore. The open mic was already lacking the voices of women and people of color, so hearing another white gay male is not giving a voice to those “other” queers that are still marginalized in the queer community.
The chairs of the Queer Student Union, Raymond Meza and Tanya, did not foresee the happenings of the open mic or the march. However, they encourage involvement with the queer community because there are many different ways to participate. For example, there will be “Coming Out Fierce: A Revolutionary Celebration” in the Graduate Students Association Lounge on Oct. 16 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. We’re certain that many queers will be there as it is a social event and nothing too “shameful” in nature.