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“We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We’re Staying Right Here”

Alliance's Coming Out Day 2016 - an interview with Amelia Rivette

Photo+credit%3A+Dominique+Jeffers
Photo credit: Dominique Jeffers

Photo credit: Dominique Jeffers

Photo credit: Dominique Jeffers

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Amelia Rivette, a Senior here at UNE and a member of the LGBTQ+ community says that, “Coming Out Day is so important to acknowledge the people that have come out to their families and friends, as well as those who haven’t yet or aren’t safe to do so. It validates their struggles and experiences as well as oftentimes giving the courage where it had previously been lacking.”

National Coming Out Day began 28 years ago on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Rivette says, “It’s so great to see so many more people comfortable with being out and proud in our society today, but there’s still so much more work to be done to make this a truly loving and accepting environment for all members of our community. That’s why we need Coming Out Day! It’s all about destigmatizing and opening up a discussion with people who may not have talked about it before.”

According to Rivette, Alliance puts on this event to “facilitate discussion and education within and outside of our college campus”. She believes that “education is the key to acceptance, equality, and inclusion.”

Today you would have been able to find members of Alliance surround by cake, balloons, and music on the compass sharing their celebration of this national holiday with the entire UNE community. Rivette says, “Coming Out Day, the cake, the balloons, the happy faces shining out at you, is so important to fight those negative voices and make sure they know we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re staying right here. Fun events like this make talking about the LGBTQ+ community easier and more accessible, and more talk means more education, and less of a stigma surrounding being out in a world that’s sometimes not so accepting.”

In the future Rivette hopes that coming out day grows to include, “better events, like speakers, peers sharing their coming out stories, and support groups for those who don’t feel safe or want to come out just yet.”

Rivette’s advice for someone struggling with their sexual orientation, “My go to advice is this: it gets better. You may be struggling right now, and your feelings are valid and real, but down the road you’ll find that things do get better. If you’re wrestling with your sexuality or gender identity and need someone to talk to, please reach out. There are so many amazing people on campus that really, truly just want to help you find your way and find your voice. Don’t ever hesitate to find someone you can talk with, be it a trusted friend or family member, or a peer at school, or one of our amazing, and Safe Space trained [Alliance] Executive Board members who are ready and willing to talk you through whatever you need. You are loved and you have worth, and I know myself as well as the other members of Alliance are here to help you remember that.”

When asked what her personal hope for the future is, Rivette said, “I’d love people to come to terms with the fact that our differences are what bring us closer and make us human, not what separate us or makes one person better than the other.”

 

 

 

For more information, Alliance meets in the St. Francis Room on Thursday’s at 7pm.

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1 Comment

One Response to ““We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We’re Staying Right Here””

  1. Jack McDonald on October 17th, 2016 7:07 pm

    Would like to talk to Noreaster News staff soon! All good!

    [Reply]

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