National Coming Out Week raises awareness of LGBT community issues

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Students packed a small room in the Shalala Student Center Monday night as part of UPride-SpectrUM’s kick off event for National Coming Out Week (NCOW).

The week is an annual civil awareness week that recognizes members of the LGBT community. UPride-SpectrUM will be hosting events throughout the week to raise awareness about issues that plague the community.

UPride-SpectrUM president Jeremy Penn believes that Coming Out Week is a “perfect opportunity” for someone who wants to get involved with the LGBT community but does not know how.

“It’s a really universal message about self-educating when it comes to these topics so you can make space for members of the LGBT community and be inclusive,” Penn said.

UPride-SpectrUM began the week with its Ally Series, occurring every Monday at 8 p.m. It had a particularly important topic this week: asexuality. Asexuality, the lack of experiencing sexual attraction, is also a part of NCOW.

Discussions throughout the night included understanding of terms that fall under the umbrella of asexuality. Terms from allosexuality, a person who does not fall on the asexuality spectrum or does not identify as asexual, to demisexuality, a person who does not experience sexual attraction except in the context of a romantic relationship, were explored. Discussion leader Miles DeMint believes these concepts are important for UM students to understand.

“Asexuality is really important to the University of Miami because we’re such a diverse university  and it’s important for everyone to know that asexuals exist and that they’re here,” DeMint said. “While I’m sure that they would be accepting, they can’t accept something they aren’t aware of.”

UPride-SpectrUM will host a variety of different events every day this week, ending with a Masquerade Ball this Friday in the Shalala Student Center Ballroom.

Feature image courtesy Pixabay user nancydowd.

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