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Clubs collaborate to celebrate Coming Out Day

Lola Skipper

Queer clubs at Mills celebrated National Coming Out Day last week with a variety of events.

There were poets, films, and a naughty and nice bake sale featuring X- and G-rated treats on-campus Tues., Oct. 11.

Mouthing Off, one of the clubs, raised about $90 from the student-baked goodies, according to junior Helen Vance, the club’s president. The club is planning to use the money for outreach events to local schools’ gay-straight alliances, she said.

“We’re looking at GLSEN [Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network], to see what groups there are in Alameda and Contra Costa County high schools,” Vance said.

Evening events included films by Alyssa Contreras, a member of Queer Melanin, which addresses issues specific to queer women of color, as well as readings by queer poets Melissa Banales and Daphne Gottlieb, a Mills MFA alumna. About two dozen students turned out for the event, which was well-received.

But a previous Coming Out Day tradition at Mills, the Mouthing Off kissing booth, appears to be coming to an end after not attracting many participants this year. “We probably won’t do it next year,” Vance said.

Now nationally organized by the Human Rights Campaign, the first National Coming Out Day was held on Oct. 11, 1988 to commemorate both the 1987 March on Washington for gay rights and the first anniversary of the AIDS Quilt’s visit to Washington, D.C.