By Alexi Knock, Assistant News Editor
While walking through the student center on Monday, it was hard for students to ignore the rainbow-painted door in the middle of the atrium. The Pride Network Hofstra University Chapter set up this door in celebration of National Coming Out Day, an event created by the Human Rights Campaign that helps increase visibility in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
"National Coming Out Day is a day that, for the past 20+ years, has been known as a day where people can be themselves regardless of sexuality," said junior and Co-Chairperson of The Pride Network William Moriarty. "It is meant for people to come out of the closet, but has also become an outlet for awareness of the struggles of people in the closet." According to Moriarty, this day is also an outlet for those not in the GLBT community to ‘come out' in support.
In addition to the rainbow door symbolizing ‘coming out,' The Pride Network offered resources for students who want to reveal that they are a homosexual. "We handed out literature that talks about how to come out safely and good speaking points when talking to family members or your work," said junior and Founder/President of The Pride Network Hofstra Chapter Christian Fuscarino. "We offer a lot of programming that departments don't around this issue, so to celebrate National Coming Out Day is something that we need to provide to our community."
The Pride Network Hofstra Chapter has celebrated National Coming Out Day for the past three years, however, other GLBT organizations at the University before The Pride Network have celebrated since the very start of National Coming Out Day.
"I think it is important for everyone to celebrate this day. It is a chance to put yourself out there more than ever before and see that you are being accepted into a great community of people," said Moriarty. "It's a chance to meet my new GLBT brothers and sisters, as well as a time to see that we are surrounded by people who care about us and want to support our cause."
Although a door may seem mundane to some, many members and non-members of The Pride Network feel that its significance is much more than wood and hinges. "I think it's important to recognize national coming out day because of how important it is for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community to be visible," said senior and Co-chairperson of The Pride Network Amanda Simone. "Whether it's throughout media, in the workplace, at school or even in the home, the more people that come out, the more people realize that this is as normal as being straight."