College Celebrates LGBTQ+ Identities on National Coming Out Day


Sarah Manderbach ’22, Staff Writer

The Office of LGBTQ+ Services held Out on Britton on Britton Plaza on Friday Oct. 11 to celebrate National Coming Out Day for Dickinson College students identifying as LGBTQ+. 

Anne Stewart, the interim director of the office of LGBTQ services, explained that Out on Britton is “an opportunity to make visible and celebrate (the) LGBTQ community and to bring students, faculty, and staff together.” 

Shasita Paudel ’22, is an education and training pride coordinator for the Office of LGBTQ Services and described the event as a group effort. “All the pride coordinators worked on contacting organizations and clubs, both on and off campus, to participate,” she said. 

Clubs, student organizations and other campus offices were encouraged to organize tables for the event. These tables featured various resources, activities and games for participants to enjoy. The spoken word club, eXiled Poetry Society, had a table where students could create a poem by adding a line of poetry related to gender, sexuality or identity. The Global Study office table provided resources for those that want to go abroad and also identify in the LGBTQ spectrum and allowed students to answer questions regarding sexuality and thoughts of LGBTQ+ in abroad locations.

Ken Bamba ’20, the chair of MOB, helped organize his club’s table and said that MOB “[…]love[d] to be a part of this event and [to] celebrate LGBTQ+ identifying individuals and [to] show support of National Coming Out Day.” At their table, MOB gave out free pride pins with their logo. 

At the center of Britton Plaza was a rainbow decorated door symbolic for “coming out” along with other activities and free food. 

Jackie Curtis ’22 described her appreciation for the event and said it is a “fun event for everyone.”

Nora Strauss ’20, the events intern in admissions explained that they asked students to give advice to first years and prospective students on how they authentically be themselves. “The information collected will be compiled and sent out to our staff in admissions to provide info and resources for prospective students,” Strauss explained.

Stewart explained that Alder Health and the LGBT Center of Central PA were also there to “provide students with information regarding LGBTQ support and resources beyond the campus.” The office also collaborated with the Dickinson Farm to “provide half priced pizza slices for all those celebrating Out on Britton,” Stewart said. 

Erin Heeschen ’22 compares her hometown experience to that of Dickinson. “Coming from a small town where this kind of thing (LGBTQ History Month) isn’t really acknowledged, much less celebrated, this is a great opportunity to be myself and to celebrate being myself.” Erin also emphasizes the importance of transgender rights in her response. 

Abby Israel ’20 added “It was an amazing experience. I’d honestly never attended before because I didn’t think it was “my” space to be in, but I regret not going sooner in my Dickinson career.”