Every year Temple students in the LGBT community celebrate National Coming Out Week with several exciting events and this year was no different.
Students celebrated the importance of individuality and acceptance with several fun events during this year’s National Coming Out Week, or NCOW. One highlight was the NCOW Festival that brought students together to show support for the LGBT community.
During the event, students received free tee shirts and listened to music and danced the day away. The NCOW fest also included a popcorn and cotton candy machine as well as a snow cone maker for participants to enjoy and for those who waited in a long line, there was the chance for them to enter a photo booth and take pictures with their LGBQT hats, necklaces, and other clothes.
Another table was set up with items for sale that included necklaces, bracelets, books, coozies, and other souvenirs to show support for the LGBQT family.
However, the excitement and fun of the festival did not overshadow the message that it is okay to be who you are. “It’s a celebration of who you are, being who you are and kind of coming together,” says junior Cayla Conover of the National Coming Out Week Festival.
Being who you are was a recurring theme throughout the week’s events, especially during the Breaking Beauty standards fashion show where participants strut down the runway to show a better representation of themselves.
After watching participants walk the runway wearing outfits that expressed their unique personalities, junior Caitlin Thomeson says “beauty comes in all forms. It’s not like you have to look a certain way. You don’t have to look pretty. You don’t have to dress a certain way. Everything is beautiful.”
At the end of the runway, models shared moving experiences of their own battles with modern beauty standards.
Breaking Beauty Standards event coordinator Thomas Diagostino says, “beauty standards hold people back from actually being who they truly are, and so this entire event was like, be who you are. Love who you are because you are beautiful because that is you and you are always beautiful.
The program also included poetry readings, musical guests, and dance performances.