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Spectrum Celebrates National Coming Out Day

Emeri Burks (CAS’08) celebrates National Coming Out Day with BU’s GLBT student group.

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Since the start of the school year, Emeri Burks (CAS’08) and other members of Spectrum, BU’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender student group, have been planning a rally to celebrate National Coming Out Day.

The rally takes place today, October 11, from noon to 2 p.m. on Marsh Plaza.

National Coming Out Day has been observed across the country on October 11 for the last 20 years. “The purpose of various observances of this holiday has been to celebrate the courage that it takes to come out,” say Burks, Spectrum’s president. The event also is an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by gay and lesbian civil rights activists in the past. “It’s a day that I’m very passionate about,” she says.

During the rally, Spectrum members will distribute handouts such as pamphlets and condoms. Anonymous coming-out stories and empowering messages will be displayed, says Burks. Those who want to tell their own coming-out story may do so at a podium that will be set up for the event. “It takes a tremendous amount of courage for a lot of people,” says Burks, who plans to share her own experience today.

Additionally, she and other members of the group have contacted various VIPs on campus and in the Boston area “in hopes that they might observe National Coming Out Day and perhaps speak at the event,” she says. “There’s a lot of time commitment and a lot of heart that’s gone into this day.”

Rebecca McNamara can be reached at ramc@bu.edu.