World Coming Out Day comes to City

Three guest speakers and a City College professor shared their experiences.


Angel Cazares

The San Diego LGBT Community Center was one of the groups offering resources to students at World Coming Out Day. Photo by Angel Cazares

Angel Cazares, Arts and Culture Editor

National Coming Out Day is a time for celebration, a time for remembrance, and most importantly a time for anyone who is LGBTQ to feel that they can come out and show their true selves to the world.

San Diego City College held its fourth annual event called Running with the Unicorns: A celebration of World Coming Out Day on Oct. 10, to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ community.

All students were invited to come and hear from three guest speakers and a professor from campus. They spoke about being transgender, being gay and the importance of having a family that loves and cares for those going through a transition. 

Trish Barilla was one speaker at the event and talked about her son and his transition to becoming a girl and what changed for the family. 

Selene Whittington is a stand-up comic who spoke about being transgender. She talked about her life, family, music career and how in the end she left that career to find herself in California. 

Scottie Madden also spoke about her experience of being transgender. She talked about the struggles that the LGBTQ community had to face and how being transgender doesn’t mean that you automatically like the opposite sex. She explained that being transgender isn’t about sex, but about being the person you were meant to be.

“People always ask what can we do, and right now I think the simplest thing to say is register and go vote, and vote anyone out of office who isn’t fighting for all Americans’ rights,” Madden said.

Professor Shane Haggard was the host and final speaker. He talked about where he grew up, how he always felt different and accepting himself as time went on. Eventually he came out to his family and is now an advocate for the community and helps anyone who needs it.

“One of the first things I do at the beginning of every semester is, I come out to my class, and I make an open environment, and I tell them if they need to talk to me, then come talk to me,” Haggard said.

In the MS quad several groups came to offer support that included The Center, TransFamily Support Group, Planned Parenthood and more.

The Center had a representative that discussed how they support the LGBTQ youth of our community.

TransFamily Support Group detailed how they help transgender people find medical assistance, how to come out to their family and offer support with the transition process.

San Diego Pride was also there to promote their events and to show support. They talked about several events that they handle and about the parades they do every year.

Audience reception towards the event and tents were highly receptive however no one wanted to ask questions during the event portion.

“I think having it in a classroom environment a lot of people aren’t ready to interact with us, and so I thought I’d have a stand up comic here this time with us to live things up.. I think people are use to ingesting information rather than participating in it,”  Madden Said.

Haggard gave final advice for students.

“If you see someone being treated unfairly speak up step out  because at some point it could be you, if you’re running into problems yourself and you don’t know who to turn to find an ally… I’m always on campus, find mental Health here on campus,” Haggard said.