LGBTQ Services celebrated National Coming Out Day and the grand opening of the LGBTQ Services office with a day full of events on October 11.
Drag queen Lady Guy and a Lady Gaga impersonator performed on the Student Union Patio most of the day. They posed for pictures, handed out UCF LGBTQ Pride stickers and danced with students. In addition, a DJ added to the entertainment.
In the evening, a grand-opening reception was held in the new LGBTQ Services office located in the Student Union suite 304, followed by the “Don’t Say Gay in Class” presentation and panel. More than 100 people attended the presentation featuring a talk by Karen Graves, author of And They Were Wonderful Teachers. Her book is about the Johns Committee purge of gay and lesbian teachers in Florida that took place from 1956 to 1965. A discussion panel with students and teachers from UCF and the Central Florida area followed. The panelists and audience talked about LGBTQ and Ally issues in public schools, such as the discrimination that self-identifying LGBTQ teachers and students face, anti-bullying initiatives and LGBTQ youth suicide.
The reception and panel were co-sponsored by the UCF History and Film departments, which are also collaborating on a student-produced Johns Committee documentary. National Coming Out Day events were part of the first LGBTQ Pride Week at UCF.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer and Ally community is very diverse. For more information about the LGBTQ Services office, visit: https://sja.sdes.ucf.edu/lgbtq/.