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The Orion

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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State Pride hosts Coming Out dance party

A Coming Out party was held in the Hub. Photo credit: Alex Coba
A Coming Out party was held in the Hub. Photo credit: Alex Coba

The lights were strobing, balloons were bouncing and people were busting a move to the likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna, all to celebrate a very important moment in an LGBTQ+ member’s life.

As part of Queer Week at Chico State, Chico State Pride (CSP) in conjunction with The Hub Productions, celebrated the act of coming out with a Coming Out dance party, welcoming all students.

“Coming here and being able to experience the Hub’s coming out party, it feels like I’m finally at home again,” said first-year student Drew Gonzalez.

The event took a lot of coordination between CSP and University Housing’s Hub Productions. Party-goers were treated to a multitude of different activities such as a craft station where attendees were able to decorate a bracelet with their own LGBTQ+ flag to correspond with their identities. Participants also got the chance to to use a photo booth where people could pose with different props. Meanwhile other students danced to a tracklist featuring various LGBTQ+ artists.

Vice President of Chico State Pride Wesley Smith handed out food at the Coming Out Party. Photo credit: Alex Coba

CSP’s Vice President Wesley Smith said that this event allowed all sorts of people to embrace and accept each other as a community of individuals.

“It’s celebrating the event of coming out which is a major event for someone in the LGBTQ+ community,” Smith said. “so it’s really a celebration of embracing your own self and your own identity and celebrating together as a community.”

Drew Gonzalez expressed his delight in finding an event where he could be himself after being a bit apprehensive about coming to Chico State.

“I believe a lot of stereotypes about Chico, which some kind of apply, some don’t,” Gonzalez said.

“I originally came to expect a lot of white Caucasian people here and like that is true in a sense, but there is also a lot of diversity for example. So I didn’t look forward to coming here. Now, I’ve been really getting accustomed to (it) – hey, there are people here that are just like me and it feels amazing.”

People gathered around the crafts table at Chico State Pride and The Hub Productions' Coming Out Party. Photo credit: Alex Coba

The event was a rousing success according to attendees, like Ciana McCord and Melissa Joseph, who talked about how important events like this are.

“(In) places like this people can express themselves in the way they want to, rather than feeling like they’re going to be judged,” McCord said.

“Especially in Chico, I feel like people don’t think it’s like as safe of a place, so it is kind of nice that people are still (attending),” Joseph said.

For more information on Chico State Pride, visit their Instagram @chicostatepride for club times and meeting locations.

Alex Coba can be reached at [email protected] or @ThatOneGuyCoba on Twitter.

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