Students celebrate LGBTQ pride on National Coming Out Day

Aliyah Rodriguez, Staff Writer

Iona College clubLove is Love and Bailando Con Sazon co-hosted a National Coming Out Day celebration in LaPenta’s Endzone on Oct.11.

Members of the Iona College community attended to celebrate everyone who took the opportunity to come out and show their support.

The event provided a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community and allies alike that wanted to support each other National Coming Out Day. Refreshments were served as students gathered to talk about LGBTQ experiences and take photos beside colorful pride-themed decorations.

Senior Kaitlyn Camperlino, president of Love is Love, expressed what the event was meant for the Iona College community as a whole.

“This event means a lot for students who want to see the world progress towards more acceptance for the LGBTQIA community,” Camperlino said.“I think Iona is starting to move in the direction towards progress of having more inclusivity”.

Camperlino shared what she would like the rest of the Iona community to know about Love is Love.

“You don’t need to be a member of the community to join,” Camperlino said.“Our main purpose of the organization is to ally and to advocate for the community. A lot of people are members of the community, but we have a lot of allies in our club because they feel like it’s important to advocate for issues on this campus.”

Junior Deirdre O’Donnell said that the presence of an event like this was“just showing the campus that we’re here, we exist and that we’re deserving of respect.” O’Donnell serves as the recruitment, retention and education chair of Love is Love.

The event was filled with a wide variety of members from both the Iona College and the New Rochelle communities, including parents.

Junior Yelinda Laniohan, vice president of Love is Love, discussed the intersectionality of being a woman of color and an ally to the LGBTQ community.

“It really shows that there are people for students who aren’t out yet; there are students who look like them and can relate to them,” said Laniohan.“Being in a school where there are so many students, it’s hard sometimes to find places to be comfortable, but when you see other people of color who are part of the LGBTQ community it helps you feel more comfortable with being who you are.”

Laniohan also stressed the importance of being able to host an event like this on campus.

“Our coming out day event is definitely supposed to provide an open and safe space for people who are out, people who aren’t out and allies,” Laniohan said.“There aren’t a lot of spaces for LGBTQ students to feel comfortable, so our club provides the space for them to be who they are unapologetically.”

Members of New Rochelle Pride were also in attendance.

Janine Intervallo, a board member of New Rochelle Pride, wanted to inform students that progress doesn’t have to be limited just to the campus.

“New Rochelle Pride is the LGBTQ organization in New Rochelle that is trying to keep things as local as possible, trying to find safe spaces and places to network for our community,” Intervallo said.“We also are really interested in making sure that we help to maintain the physical wellbeing, safety and health of our community, and we really want to advocate for our community.”

This event was a first on campus and it surely will not be the last in the move toward a more progressive campus.

If you would like more information on the organization, follow @Newrochellepride on Instagram.