Outfest 2018

On October 11th, 2018, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates National Coming Out Day. This is a celebration of all members of the queer community, whether they are currently out or not. On top of that, I also celebrated my first pride event after coming out. I attended Outfest in the Philly Gayborhood on Sunday, October 7th. Outfest is THE largest coming out day celebration in the world, according to organizers. I went with a group of my friends and with Jefferson’s Queer Student Union. Being able to celebrate my identity with other people within the community was such a freeing experience. There were booths with everything from Wawa to LGBT health initiatives handing out information, goodies, condoms and lube, and free samples of products. There were health centers offering free HIV/AIDS testing, and vendors selling pins, flags, and other pride items. Of course, there were the counter-protesters, but volunteers at the event did a good job making sure they didn’t interfere with any of the celebrations or cause any harm to any of the event-goers. My first pride event was fantastic, and I was so excited to be surrounded by other people who were able to support myself along with others and to feel validated in my identity.