How to celebrate Coming Out Week at Iowa State


The LGBTQIA+ Student Success Center will be offering many different opportunities for students to celebrate National Coming Out Day.

Kaitlyn Richardson

The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success and other campus organizations are collaborating to hold a series of events to celebrate Coming Out Week.

National Coming Out Week is the week containing National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11. According to the Human Rights Campaign article, “Celebrate National Coming Out Day with HRC!,” 2021 will be the 33rd anniversary of National Coming Out Day.

“Thirty-three years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out,” the article read.

To bring this celebration to Iowa State, The Center is sponsoring and supporting three events throughout the week of Coming Out Day in addition to their multiple other events observing October as LGBTQIA+ History Month.

The first event leading up to this week is the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC), occurring virtually Oct. 8 through Oct. 10.

“MBLGTACC is the largest student-led LGBTQIA+ conference in the nation and the first MBLGTACC was held at Iowa State in 1993,” the Calendar of Events on the Center’s website read.

The calendar of events also listed the conference as requiring preregistration, which will end at 11:59 Oct. 8; the price will vary from $25 to $60 a person.

On Oct. 11, the Center will host Center Circles: Coming Out Experiences. This event will hold a discussion on coming out experiences.

“In shared community, Center Circles gives us the opportunity to share our ideas, ask questions, listen to others and, hopefully, leave the hour with a deeper understanding of the day’s topic. While folks are welcome to come and simply listen, we’re excited to foster an environment of enrichment through group conversation with attendees willing to share and question,” the calendar of events read.

The discussion will occur from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., but the Center encourages attendees to come and go as needed. To participate in the event, you must be a current Iowa State Student, and the Center asks that attendees RSVP for the event.

On Oct. 13, the Workspace will hold a Coming Out Week Craft, specifically with special access for the Center from noon to 2 p.m. To join that group, attendees must sign-up.

“Participants will choose a word or two – like pride, equality, or their pronouns – and use our letter stamps to hammer out their text onto a metal disk and attach it to a cord bracelet,” Letitia Kenemer, Workspace & Fine Arts coordinator, said in a press release about the upcoming events.

If this time does not work, the craft will be available during regular hours in the Workspace, from Oct. 11 to Oct. 16. This event costs $10 per bracelet, but discount cards will be available for pickup at the Center.

Kenemer also mentioned in the press release another upcoming event Oct. 20, celebrating International Pronouns Day. The Student Engagement Office will be handing out free pronoun buttons from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Celebrate International Pronouns Day on Wednesday, Oct. 20 by acknowledging people’s multiple, intersecting identities,” Kenemer said. “Referring to people by pronouns they prefer is considered a basic human dignity and being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people.”

To see the full calendar of events from the Center, you can visit here.