GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) October 11 is National Coming Out Day. ECU’s Dr. Jesse R. Peele LGBTQ Center hosted the event on campus to show its support.
Those who attended were met with hugs, smiles, and free merchandise that ranged from t-shirts, bracelets, pins, candy, and stickers, and more.
Ashley Bonner attended the event wearing a purple shirt that read ‘free mom hugs’ across it in rainbow writing. “Some people once they come out to their family members may not have the support,” explained Bonner. “So they might not have hugs from mom or dad anymore.”
National Coming Out Day was started in 1988, one year after the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was started by Robert Eichsberg and Jean O’Leary to commemorate the 1987 march that was a milestone for LGBTQ rights.
As people left the festivities, supporters lined the sidewalk with signs, some of which reading ‘free hugs’, ‘you are valued’, ‘you are loved’. High fives and hugs were also given to students walking past the event to class.