MU LGBTQ Hosts an Outreach Panel

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COLUMBIA - As a part of this year's Coming Out Week MU's LGBTQ resource center hosted an outreach panel Tuesday afternoon.

Coming Out Week began Monday and is a celebration of MU's LGBTQ community. LGBTQ coordinator Struby Struble hopes that this panel will ensure that all students are being respected and celebrated for who they are.

"It's been proven over and over again that the best way to combat homophobia is through personal interactions," Struble said.

At Tuesday's panel four members of the LGBTQ community shared their personal stories about coming out as well as hosted an open form discussion with those who attended.  Issues discussed included family and community acceptance, personal struggles and bennefits of being out.

Kenneth Bryant Jr., one of the four panelists, believes that coming out is the first step towards eliminating homophobia.

"I think that if we all came out to our parents, our coworkers, our bosses and our friends then all of a sudden we could humanize this idea of gay," Bryant said.

Events continue throughout this week including National Coming Out Day on Thursday.  If you would like to show your support stop by the 16th annual Show Your Support photo at 5 p.m. Thursday on the north steps of Jesse Hall.

You can find the entire schedule of events that are open to the public at MU LGBTQ's online calendar.