flag raising ceremony

The LGBT Queer Resource Center rose a rainbow flag in front of Langsdorf Hall in October 2019. (Olivia Hawkins / Daily Titan)

The LGBT Queer Resource Center at Cal State Fullerton will host events in celebration of National Coming Out Week starting on Oct. 11, which is National Coming Out Day.

The LGBT Queer Resource Center will kick the week off by the raising of the rainbow flag in front of Langsdorf Hall at 10 a.m. on Monday. It will fly for the whole month of October in support of LGBTQ History Month.

Nat Betancourt Arellano, LGBT Queer Resource Center Coordinator and CSUF graduate, said that this year is the third annual flag raising and coming out week that the center has put on. Coming out week is the biggest program that the center holds during the year, Betancourt Arellano said.

“When I was a student here, we didn’t have anything like this. We didn’t have drag shows; we didn’t have flag raising. Our center was a tiny space in the TSU,” Betancourt Arellano said.

On Tuesday at 1 p.m., the center will discuss Queer Coding, including how LGBT people are coded in media as well as misrepresentations in media.

This is followed by the resource fair on Wednesday at the Becker Amphitheatre, where students will have a chance to meet with various organizations that are involved on campus. One of these is the Queer and Trans people of Color club, where Queer Resource Center Intern, Rubèn Cruz, serves as a board member.

“We will be tabling at the resource center, being one of the services provided during national coming out week on Wednesday. We will be informing folks about opportunities as well as our partnership with the QRC,” Cruz said.

Cruz invites students who may be afraid or have yet to come out to these events and said it is a safe space to share as much as they are comfortable with.

“We just want to be an open outlet in whatever they want to do so we try to enforce that in the beginning,” Cruz said.

There will also be off campus organizations, such as the Orange County LGBTQ center and the healthcare organization OC Accept, which is dedicated to aiding the LGBTQ community.

“We will be giving away some stuff as well. We’ll have some opportunity drawings for folks that come by and pick up a stamp card and check in,” Betancourt Arellano said. “You’ll be able to see us cause we have a huge rainbow balloon arch that we like to put out there.”

The center has also organized a Drag Show on Thursday which will take place in the housing piazza at 7 p.m. The show will feature four local drag queens as well as some student performers.

Performing at the show will be Orange County drag queen and CSUF graduate, Katalina De Isla, who said she sees performing in her hometown as an honor and privilege.

“The drag show at Cal State Fullerton is an out of body experience like no other. The energy these Titans give to all the queens is not only incredible but memorable,” De Isla said.

“This show differs from all others because as a fellow alumni, Cal State Fullerton will always hold a special place and audience in my heart.”

De Isla recalls growing up and struggling with her sexual identity and finding her confidence through trans activists and drag artists. She said that the best advice she could give to someone in that spot, struggling with coming out of their identity, is to take their time and remember that they are not alone.

“Oftentimes, we feel like we are alone in this journey and forget we have loved ones who are cheering and supporting us throughout the journey. Find your tribe and march with them,” De Isla said.

To end the week, the Rise and Pride Program will close out on Friday at 10 a.m. This is an event directed toward LGBTQ students, and it will focus on questioning and explaining the process of coming out and how people in the community can support each other through what can be a challenging journey.

“It is so great to see how visibly LGBTQ our campus is becoming more and more everyday. It’s not that more and more LGBTQ folks are coming here, they’ve always been here, we’ve always been here,” Betancourt Arellano said.

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