East LA College 1st in the district to raise the pride flag in solidarity with National Coming Out D
Today is National coming out day marking the 34th anniversary of the national march for lesbian and gay rights. Many southern Californians are celebrating including east LA College which held a special flag-raising event. According to officials, East LA College is the first in the L.A. Community College District to raise an LGBTQ+ Progress Pride Flag on campus and the school celebrated the ribbon cutting of their new Husky Pride Center.
"This whole campus is one of the most, like, actually like inclusive areas," said Thursday Storm, a student at the college. "It's the most important because, one, you don't feel as discriminated. You understand that your own self-identity would be protected."
"We picked National Coming Out Day because we wanted to be about featuring the companies, partnerships, and outlets where our student members could be their authentic selves freely and safely," said Richard Martinez, a board member of the association.
Executive Director Carlos Torres said this day also sheds light on the importance of mental health.
"The mental health piece and Coming Out Day I think are really crucial and an important topic that should not be dismissed or minimized," said Torres. "Being in the closet can feel so lonely. It can feel like no one understands who you are or how you feel about yourself ... There is nothing wrong with you and who you are as an individual."