MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - October is National Gay History Month and October 11 is National Coming Out Day. Many are familiar with the June LGBT+ Pride Month, however many students aren’t in session to celebrate.
Northern Michigan University is celebrating in many ways, including hosting a penny war between the NMU offices to collect money for the Allies Student Scholarship.
On Coming Out Day, NMU is also asking people to participate by wearing a red shirt in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. NMU has been celebrating this day with red shirts for the past 6 years. They’ve also cut out red, paper shirts equipped with a pin for those who forget to wear red.
NMU Assistant Director of the Multi-Cultural Education and Resource Center Shirley Brozzo says it’s important for the LGBTQIA+ to celebrate their identities because often marginalized communities need extra support.
"It's good to see a lot of visible support. Of course we don't just exist during the month of October, we’re here all year round but it's nice to see that visible support at least during the month,” said Brozzo.
Brozzo also mentions that Gay History Month is a great way for people who are questioning their own identities to learn more about themselves and the LGBTQIA+ role models who came before them.
"Whose history do we read about in the history books? It's always the straight white male, the conquerors. That’s what’s reported, that’s what’s in the history books, and you study it. You might read about one or two native people or one or two African American people. Hardly do you ever read about Hispanic or LBGT people. It's just a time for pride, to celebrate these things."
Northern Michigan University Allies will be hosting MQT Comes Out on Friday, October 11 at the Ore Dock from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Attendees can expect to hear from spoken word poets and community members such as U.P. Rainbow Pride, Women for Women, NMU Queers & Allies, Planned Parenthood, Free Mom Hugs U.P., and the Gay Straight Alliance of Marquette Senior High School.
T-shirts are available on their Facebook page and at the event.
All proceeds raised during MQT Comes Out will also go to the Allies Student scholarship.