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G.L.A.S.S looking for recognition
When National Coming Out Day was established in 1993, it was a way for gays and lesbians all over the country to show the nation how far gay/lesbian rights had come along since the first march in Washington in 1987.
Over the past few years, the student organization, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Supporters (G.L.A.S.S.), has worked to bring National Coming Out Day to Quinnipiac University as a way of making people aware that homosexuality exists on campus. This year’s celebration is on Oct. 11.
“For many people, it is important to know that G.L.A.S.S. is here,” said Elena Wirzburger, president. “I feel in general there is a negative attitude at Quinnipiac because not everyone is educated [about homosexuality].”
In the past, there have been some tense relations between G.L.A.S.S. and Quinnipiac’s administration. Because National Coming Out Day often falls on an Open House day, when prospective students and their parents come to tour the campus, Wirzburger said that the administration is not in favor of the campus publicity regarding gays.
“The administration is not comfortable with Quinnipiac maybe being considered a gay college,” said Wirzburger. “If people knew that Quinnipiac was a gay-friendly place then more people might want to come here.”
John Morgan, director of public relations at Quinnipiac disagrees with Wirzburger’s accusation of university homophobia.
“I think we have been very supportive of gays on campus,” said Morgan. He also said that Quinnipiac ran a paid ad in the New Haven Register in support of the play, “Santa Claus is Coming Out,” a G.L.A.S.S. sponsored event that took place two weeks ago.
“We encourage our students to be who they are,” said Morgan. “We strive for diversity at Quinnipiac.”
Despite the conflict, Wirzburger is looking to see this year’s National Coming Out Day turn out to be a success.
“I’m hoping that more people will know we are here,” she said. “And we want the same privileges as everyone else, such as being able to show affection in public without fear.”