event recap by McKenna Blackshire, grade 8

           Pasadena’s first National Coming Out Day Event was like a mini, more personal Pride Parade. The atmosphere was energizing and unique. Each booth offered a different form of support to the LGBTQ+ Community, and each speaker shared a different perspective, which ranged from the Public Health Director to individuals who have come out themselves. As the night went on, you could see how people who supported and were identified in the LGBTQ+ spectrum grew more like a family–especially as the coming out stories were shared. I saw how many different possible outcomes there were which relied on so many different factors. No one told the same story as someone else.

           As someone who’s only in the eighth grade, I’d never been exposed to an environment with so many people who proudly supported those who are identified as LGBTQ+. Especially while working the library booth, so many different people came to the table; each had their own story that led them to being there that night; this shows exactly why coming out isn’t an experience that resonates with only one age or one group of people.

           A fellow Teen Advisory Board member, Kara Eng, expressed, “I thought it was a really great event where everyone was really enthusiastic. I haven’t really seen anything like it in Pasadena and I’m excited that it’s an annual event.”

           I agree. I can’t wait to see the event next year, seeing the diversity of people, meeting different people, and hopefully some of the same. It will be especially interesting to see in what way the event changes and how it stays the same. I hope to see how more people have found their way to be at the event and celebrate National Coming Out Day.

Photos by Erik Hernandez

Read more about the event:  http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/celebrate-national-coming-out-day-at-the-library/

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