Missouri Western students will have the chance to celebrate alongside a different culture. This week, the Center for Multicultural Education is celebrating with Solidarity Week in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Center of Multicultural Education will be hosting a Coming Out Day celebration on Oct. 9, at the Baker Fitness Patio from 11am–1pm. The location will be moved to the GISC in the event of rain. 

Solidarity Week gives students at Missouri Western the opportunity of learning about the LGBTQ+ community and the struggles the community has been through in the United States. Each day of the week will focus on a specific minority group within the LGBTQ+ community. 

Solidarity Week predates the upcoming National Coming Out Day, a day dedicated to celebrating closeted LGBT community members each year on Oct. 11. 

National Coming Out Day began with human rights activists Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary. On Oct. 11, 1987, 500,000 people marched on Washington D.C. for gay rights in response to no progress being made to quell the AIDS pandemic. On the one year anniversary of the march, Eichberg and O’Leary started National Coming Out Day, a day of awareness members of the LGBT community continue to celebrate over 30 years later. 

Each year, thousands of people will “come out,” or reveal one’s sexuality or gender identity, to rival the silence that surrounds the topic of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Coming Out Day gives members of the LGBTQ+ community a chance to share their experiences with sexual orientation and gender identity through their “coming out” story. 

The LGBTQ+ community—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community— has been a driving force for equality in the United States throughout the last 50 years. 

One June 28, 1969, the riot that sparked national attention for the gay rights movement took place in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in Manhattan, New York. The five day period of violent protests against unjust police harassment was later coined the Stonewall riots. 

While the gay rights movement had already begun in the United States, the Stonewall riots saw the first demonstration including all members of within the LGBTQ+ community. Many different people in the community all united under the same front.

The LGBTQ+ community’s fight for their equality in the United States has reached to the Supreme Court with Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark case giving same-sex individuals the right to marriage.

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