After a hectic year living in a pandemic, National Coming Out Day looked a bit different in Philadelphia this year.
The group behind many of the city’s LGBTQ-based events, Philly Pride Presents, disbanded earlier this year after some controversy. With Philadelphia’s main LGTBQ organizers disbanded, pride events were cancelled all across the city; one notable cancellation was the annually celebrated, and very popular, OutFest.
Despite this, the Temple University community remained committed to ensuring that activities go on.
Temple University held week-long events to celebrate National Coming Out Week. Events kicked off with a festival, where students could interact with organizations and participate in fun activities.
The event was organized by Temple’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership. Many various organizations were involved, ranging from Temple student clubs to outside organizations such as the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus.
“There’s just so much love and support here,” Concept Manager Dionna Campanella noted. “Everyone is just so happy.”
The success of the festival was evident, as students filled the street to learn more about the community and take part in some of the more creative events.
“We have a lot of fun activities here, where you have to describe your gender using non-gendered words,” said Jackson Burke who represents the Students for Trans Awareness and Rights.
Jackson was not the only one offering exciting activities for students; other tables hosted events such as “Know Your Pride Flag,” and themed Wheel of Fortunes.
Still, despite all the fun, no one forgot the importance of why they were there. All events had important information regarding the LGBTQ+ community, including free HIV testing for anyone who wanted it.
“This is about speaking out about our experiences,” Campanella stated. “Sharing our experiences, as far as coming out to our family, friends.”
Other events set up by Temple included bingo night, as well as a series of guest speakers. All of these activities are set to culminate with a Drag Show on Friday.
For more on the events that took place during National Coming Out Week at Temple, visit the Temple Update website to watch the full story online.