Commonly worn, everyday blue jeans symbolized something more on Friday, which marked National Coming Out Day.
On a day designed to celebrate the everyday struggles of coming out, many organizations at CSU declared NCOD’s theme on campus this year “Jeans Day.”
“The idea is that everybody puts their jeans on the same way,” said Sunshine Workman, a coordinator involved in NCOD campus events. “Wearing jeans is a way to celebrate together, to be comfortable with who you are.”
On Friday, students supportive of NCOD gathered on the Plaza for cake, music, dancing and a open microphone for comments. Sporting not only blue jeans, but also buttons and stickers distributed by the event coordinators, supporters celebrated the day.
Twana Tisdon, a member of CSU’s GLBT student organization, said she was surprised by the involvement in NCOD.
“It was a good thing because we were totally consumed by Homecoming,” Tisdon said.
The GLBT student organization and student services were especially involved in Homecoming this year, because of the anti-gay group that protested at the game Saturday. Different community members formed several campaigns during Homecoming week, designed to peacefully oppose anti-gay picketers from the Westboro Baptist Church. Some of these campaigns included the Stop Hate Coalition, the Peaceful Positive Presence campaign and the Rams vs. Hate Campaign.
Tisdon said the Stop Hate Coalition was formed this year in response to the September announcement of the Westboro group’s upcoming protest.
“It’s not just a GLBT issue,” Tisdon said, “but a hate issue in general.”
Workman explained that NCOD, started by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender activists in Virginia in 1987, aims to provide an inclusive and safe environment for all people.
As for other efforts designed to peacefully counter the picketers, the GLBT student services formed a fundraiser, asking citizens to donate money to the GLBT offices for every minute the anti-gay group protested. By Friday afternoon, nearly $3,000 had been pledged, said Allison Fisher who works at GLBT student services.
-Edited by Shandra Jordan, Colleen Buhrer and Ben Koerselman