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Letter: Coming Out Week a celebration of individualism

Regarding Bill English's Sept. 23 column "My Right To Not Support Gay And Lesbian Groups."

I feel bad that English is mislabeled a homophobe when he claims his beliefs are to the contrary, and I agree when he says that "this week's events aren't about tolerance." But I do not believe he understands that this week's events are about identity. If anything, this week is about being proud of who you are; it's about passion and self-discovery; it's about wanting to hold up my voice and not my tongue.

Why should Coming Out Week be judged as a "pathetic and ugly display of a faux moral righteousness," when clearly it is an event to be celebrated, an ideal upon which America was founded? In a country that screams the essence of Moses, Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Betty Friedan��a country that notoriously refuses to shut up--how can we not interpret the events of this week as a call to know and love ourselves and one another?

Despite the "explicit political goals of these demonstrations," we should not ignore what is beyond the politics. Granted, nobody deserves to be represented by a radical minority. There are those "quiet, normal looking homosexuals" who have no desire to be represented by the extreme individuals. Yes, there are obviously going to be radicals amongst the participants of Coming Out Week, who will be out in front of the Chapel and in your face about it. But aside from its political implications, we should see Coming Out Week not just as a political call for tolerance, but as a celebration of identity and the freedom to choose how to express this identity, whether it be shaving your head and kissing on the Chapel Quad or staying at home and being with the one you love.

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