The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Westfield State’s QSA Celebrates Coming Out with Love, Simon


Westfield State University’s Queer Straight Alliance screened Love, Simon for students Thursday night in the Scanlon Banquet Hall to pay tribute to National Coming Out Day.

The event was attended by both members and non-members of the club, as well as both student presidents and for a brief period of time, the club adviser Ron’na Lytle who has run the club for over a decade. For her, QSA provides a safe, welcoming environment for students from all walks of life to help them work through discrimination they may encounter on campus.

Longtime QSA members enjoyed having the opportunity to watching the coming out experience on the big screen, depicted by well-known actors. Destiny Perez, who had joined the club a year ago said that the movie was empowering to reveal true self on screen for teens around the world.

This marks the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, an unofficial holiday celebrated by members of the LGBTQ community across the country. It presents a day to celebrate the self and form a sense of community during the terrifying act of “coming out.” 

For the LGBTQ community, National Coming Out Day isn’t always just a day to be out and proud. “I think that National Coming Out Day is important because it brings awareness to members of the LGBTQ community,” said QSA President Kelsey Foran.

Despite being legalized in all fifty states, it is still legal in thirty-one states to fire from work, refuse service, or evict based off of sexual orientation. Even her at Westfield State, Foran had addressed her own run ins with discrimination on campus.

“I do know plenty of trans students here who have gone through huge struggles in trying to have the right bathroom assigned to them,” said Foran, citing whether or not she felt safe on campus. In 2017, there was one reported case of intimidation and destruction of property based on sexual orientation here on campus, a jump from past years according to WSU campus crime logs.  

The 2018 film has gained critical acclaim as the first LGBTQ teen romance movie to be produced by a major Hollywood studio. Freshman Abbi McKintosh came to watch the movie, a favorite of hers. “I just like being here, it’s really fun,” she replied when asked why she joined QSA.

Movie nights are just one of many ways the QSA celebrates diversity on campus. They hold bake sales, discussions, and their annual Pride week at the end of the spring semester.

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