APSU’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance observed National Coming Out Day, an annual LGBTQ+ awareness day.

On Oct. 11 and 12, GSA promoted National Coming Out Day through various means. GSA held a meeting on Thursday, and they provided public support in the UC Plaza on Friday.

“Last night, we talked about National Coming Out Day,” a member of GSA,Emily Rendleman said.

“We talked about the history of the event. We shared coming out stories and had a really great time just hanging out and being part of the community.”

PeayLink describes GSA as “an organization of and for people of all sexualities and genders.”

 GSA is open to members and allies alike to promote acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

“This is our 40th year of having a gay organization on campus,” Rendleman said. “It was originally the Coalition for Student Rights.

That was our first organization, and it has since transmuted to the Gay-Straight Alliance and now the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

But a lot of people, even faculty and staff, don’t realize how long we’ve had an LGBTQ organization on campus.”

GSA meetings are from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. They are located on the third floor of the UC.

“Our turnout is usually very good,” Rendleman said.

“Our meetings are roughly about 30 people, but we’ve actually grown in recent years, and we’re always encouraging others to come out. In the UC, we see a lot of people come by. A lot of people are willing to interact and be on our social media. We see a lot of support from the Austin Peay community, the Clarksville community, and it’s just such as great thing to be so supported.”

Freshman Anna Slater, who has attended GSA since this school year, described how her relationship with GSA helped her come to terms with her identity.

“I figured out during my senior year that I was pansexual,” Anna said.

“GSA feels like home for me because I can talk to other people who are just like me. It’s a safe environment where you don’t feel judged and you can be who you are.”

Emily Rendleman said that GSA is always welcoming more people to attend its meetings and events.

“I would encourage everyone to come to GSA,” Slater said.

“I think there’s a lot to learn, and I definitely think college is about broadening your horizons. So, if you’re an ally, feel free to come. Feel free to ask questions. We want you to learn, and we want you to feel welcome. The same goes for the LGBTQ community. We just want to be a welcoming, accepting space that everyone can feel comfortable in.”

For more information on upcoming meetings and events, contact GSA or reach out on Facebook at APSU GSA.