Small, but happy. That is how one could describe the crowd that gathered for the observation of National Coming Out Day on October 11. There was laughter, serious explaining and pizza.

Except it wasn’t just any day for some of the people who were explaining that until they got here at APSU, they had not been able to live a life that reflected who they felt they were. Conversations brimmed with complicated narratives and resounding agreements as people saw themselves in the others’ stories.

When pressed on the need for a public display, attendees generally agreed that they came to the event for themselves and others as a show of love, respect and solidarity. On any other day, the way they see themselves and the way they like to be in relationship with others was really not the business of most people.

Love, sexual partnership and intimacy are private matters. These matters are important to people whom they love and want to be in a relationship with, not their bosses, professors or classmates.

There was general agreement that being understood was not the first priority, being safe was. They appreciate that they feel safe on campus and can gather to talk about what matters to them. Though the crowd was made up of fewer than 20 people, and they didn’t quite finish all the free pizza, those in attendance claimed the National Coming Out Day celebration a success.

Check out our gallery from the National Coming Out Day Celebration.