Resources for National Coming Out Day and Beyond

10/04/2013

Contributed by Luca Maurer

Is there a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person in your life? Do you work with LGBT students? Does your curriculum include topics about LGBT youth, adults, or families?  National Coming Out Day is October 11. Many resources are available to you, both on and off campus, to assist you in supporting LGBT people during this time and throughout the year.

Please join us in recognizing National Coming Out Day. In celebration of this annual observance there will be a featured speaker and reception for members of the campus community and for LGBT and allied alumni visiting campus for Alumni Weekend to provide an opportunity for alumni and current students to meet and network.

This year's speaker is Marc Wigler, a graduate of the class of 1987. Marc Wigler is an LGBT advocate, supporter, educator and comedian, and his diverse career has included working in the New York television and radio market, travel education, teaching kindergarten in the Chicago Public Schools, serving as a national trainer,  working for the Chicago Teachers Union, and as a  faculty member in the School of Education of DePaul University teaching graduate students about early childhood education and labor-management collaboration. He also hosted an educational television talk show in Chicago for ten years for PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) where his work was recognized for support, education and advocacy. The event will take place Thursday, October 10, 7:00 p.m. in Klingenstein Lounge, Campus Center.

Timely tips for supporting those who are out, or those who may come out to you for the first time this week, are featured in the article by the LGBT Center program director "Ten Tips for Parents of a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender Child."  The program director also serves as a guest blogger on topics affecting LGBT youth and young adults for The Prevention Researcher, a multidisciplinary journal focusing on successful adolescent development and at-risk youth.

Coming out affects not just LGBT people but our friends, families, and allies as well. There are a variety of excellent resources for loved ones of LGBT people who are coming out. If you are in the process of coming out to your family, there are a host of organizations appropriate for particular needs:

LGBT History Month is also celebrated throughout October; in honor of this event, Equality Forum has produced 31 video shorts that highlight and celebrate some of the leaders that have made GLBT history. There will be a new short introduced every day for the entire month of October -- each day's new video will be available at the LGBT History Month Featured Videos website.   This series will highlight famous figures and will also introduce some that may not be as well known to the public.

Interested in creating an affirming environment for LGBT members of the Ithaca College community in the classroom? Try the tip sheets "Easy Ways to Be Inclusive of LGBT Themes in the Classroom" - a series of resources promoting LGBT inclusion on campus.

If you are contemplating coming out as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person, resources are available by contacting the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services.

Online resources are also available:

The annual observance of National Coming Out Day was conceived of shortly after the second march on Washington for gay and lesbian equality on October 11, 1987.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Luca Maurer at lmaurer@ithaca.edu or (607) 274-7394. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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