LGBTQ Coming Out Photo Makes Headlines

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COLUMBIA - Hundreds of MU faculty, students, and staff admitted their sexual orientation Tuesday with a big group picture on the steps of Jesse Hall.  A lot of friends and allies joined the picture, too.  This was the 16th annual coming out photo.

The group photo commemorates National Coming Out Day and is an effort to show support for members of the MU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer community. The photo is usually reserved for the the back page of the Maneater's Friday issue. This year, for the first time, the photo will be featured on the back of the Maneater's Centennial Homecoming centerfold, which is designed as a poster for students to take to the football game. 

The LGBTQ Resource Center funds the Maneater photo, but the coordinator says it's new location is an exciting sign of support for all members of the MU community. Student reaction to the change has been largely positive.

Student Gabby Galaz says, "I think it's a cool idea. I think it also gives awareness of how many gay communities we do have here, and it doesn't matter who's supporting it... and it shows that we're accepting."

LGBTQ community members like Tyler Crossen agree that the sense of awareness has grown. "My high school was in a really small town, and there was nothing to do with LGBT, so I appreciate it here."

A complete calendar of Coming Out Week events can be found here.