FSC prides itself on being a campus that is welcoming and accepting of everyone. That pride and those open arms will be on full display Oct. 11 as the college celebrates National Coming Out Day, an annual event to support and embrace the gay community.

“I think celebrating this day on FSC's campus is imperative,” said Dr. Christine Freaney, Assistant Professor of Nutrition Science and Health Promotion and faculty advisor of the Farmingdale Pride club. “Suicide and depression among college students is high, especially among LGBT+ students. By celebrating Coming Out Day on this campus, students that identify as LGBT+ feel welcome and it actively demonstrates that FSC is a safe and inclusive space.”

This year’s national theme comes from the Human Rights Campaign’s “Born to Shine,” slogan, and there will be plenty of opportunities to do just that. 

“National Coming Out Day means the world to me and my community members,” said FSC’s Student Government Association (SGA) President senior Jake Iaccino. “For me, when I came out, my true life began. I was finally able to live my truth, and I do it unabashedly. It was such a freeing feeling, coming out, and I am thankful and grateful for the love and support I have received from those around me, including friends and family.”

The Office of Student Activities, SGA, and Farmingdale Pride are sponsoring a day full of fun and information for the National Coming Out Day Celebration:  

  • Oct 11: Beginning at 10:45 AM in the Campus Center Lobby, enjoy a live drag show, cupcakes, and bagels. Students will have the opportunity to walk through a rainbow themed door, representative of them coming out into the LGBTQIA+ community. Literature from the Health and Wellness Center and other resources will also be on hand.
    “National Coming Out Day is a wonderful opportunity for our queer students to find and support one another, to find supportive allies, and to discover all of the resources that the college provides for them, including counseling services, safe space faculty office hours, and our Farmingdale Pride student club,” said Dr. Travis W. Holloway, a professor of English and Humanities. “It’s a day to raise the visibility of queer people in our community and celebrate them.” 

    Founded in 1988 by psychologist Robert Eichberg and political activist Jean O’Leary, National Coming Out Day was inspired by the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights held on October 11, 1987.

    Connecting with other gay students and adults helps gay youth feel more positive about themselves and their futures, noted Freaney. “During my first year at FSC, after one of the first FSC Pride meetings, I had three students come to my office,” she said. “They were in awe that I was 'out', employed, educated, happily married, and have two kids. One of the students said, 'It is just so nice to know that this kind of life is possible for me.’”

    The best allies for the gay community are those who actively listen to their issues and stand in solidarity to bring about positive change, Iaccino said. “Support for the LGBTQ+ community should be loud and unabashed regardless of who you are,” he said. 

    Resources for LGBTQIA+ individuals are available through Farmingdale Pride, Campus Mental Health Services, Greenley Library, and LGBTQIA+ Support & Inclusivity.