SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – To honor National Coming Out Day, on Oct. 11 the Liverpool Public Library launched a Teen LGBTQIA+ Club, where members of the LGBTQ+ community, ages 12 to 19, celebrate who they are, together.
Oct. 11 has served as National Coming Out Day in the United States for the past 33 years, commemorating the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
The day is now an annual celebration of those who come out as LGBTQ+ and a day of heightened awareness of their continuous fight for equality.
But, the idea for the club did not come out of thin air.
Laurel Griffith, the Teen and Community Services Librarian at Liverpool Public Library, said it’s something people were asking about since before the pandemic started.
“This is something that’s been requested for a long time and something we wanted to follow up on,” said Griffith. “I was getting questions about what kind of books in the library I had about specific identities, or that related to the LGBTQ community youth. National Coming Out Day seemed like the perfect time [to start the club].”
Games, arts and crafts and get-to-know-you type activities were on the schedule for the hour-long meeting Monday. If interest stays high, the club plans to continue meeting on the second Monday of each month.
“The way people identify with their sexual orientation or the way they feel in their body – just because [they] don’t identify the ‘normal’ way, or ‘society’s norm’, doesn’t mean [they’re] not human, or [they] don’t have rights or anything along those lines,” said Rachel Castello, a LGBTQIA+ ally. “[They’re] normal people, just something about them is a little different.”
The Liverpool Public Library isn’t the only organization in Central New York celebrating National Coming Out Day and LGBTQ history month.
CNY Pride is celebrating by hosting “Queer Fright Night” Saturday at Frightmare Farms in Fulton, N.Y. Members of the LGBTQ+ community, their families and allies are invited to partake in the Halloween festivities, including a haunted hayride and haunted house, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Syracuse University continues with their LGBTQ+ history month programming with workshops, discussions about appropriate terminology used in the LGBTQ+ community, keynote speakers and even Drag Queen Bingo.