By Karynn Brown
Oct. 11, 2017.
Today marks National Coming Out Day, an event that started in 1988 to commemorate the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
The idea for turning the anniversary of the historical march into National Coming Out Day was inspired by Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary, both of whom were strong LGBTQA+ advocates.
O’Leary was the head of the National Gay Rights Advocates.
Access, meaning, and celebration of the day has changed and expanded across the country in the last 29 years. Events often include rallies and a chance for the LGBTQA+ community to be visible to the public eye. The Human Rights Campaign champions the day with the notion that “one of our most basic tools of power is coming out.”
National Coming Out Day is a chance to support visibility of the queer community, and gives individuals the opportunity to publically share their sexual orientation or gender identity amidst support and inclusivity. Events center around recognizing the many valuable, loved members of a community whom are LGBTQA+. Part of the importance in celebrating National Coming Out Day and encouraging closeted queer folx to come out is to increase the number of voices fighting for LGBTQA+ rights. By showing that queer folx already exist and thrive as friends, coworkers and neighbors, these voices help to diminish fear and stereotypes.
Panic Bar, 18th & N, will mark National Coming Out Day by holding film screenings of Stonewall at 8 p.m. and Milk at 10 p.m.
1867 Bar, 14th & O, will also celebrate the day with a night of live music. Star City Pride has teamed up with 1867 to host the celebration that features performances by four regional bands. While the event started small, it has grown to include a partnership with the downtown Chipotle location, as well as Thirsty’s bar. All three businesses have teamed up to provide donations to Star City Pride and OUTLinc to help fund next summer’s Pride 2018 festival.
On Wednesday, with the mention of Star City Pride and National Coming Out Day, Chipotle will donate 50-percent of profits made from 5-9 p.m, and Thirsty’s Sports Bar will donate 20-percent of bar tabs from the entire evening.
Star City Pride is a local nonprofit organization that hosts Lincoln’s annual July pride festival and advocates for education, awareness, understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQA+ community. They recently had a presence at Common Root’s Fall For Pride event this past Sunday at Antelope Park.
Star City Pride works year-round to attend and support events, provide education and understanding for members of the community. In line with the festivities of National Coming Out Day, one of Star City Pride’s mission objectives is to “raise awareness to the general public of the presence of homosexual (gay and lesbian), bisexual and transgender individuals in their community.”
The annual July pride festival includes musical and drag performers, as well as a pageant, vendors and activities for children. Pride is an important part of Star City’s Mission and important to the city of Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler declared July 8th “Star City Pride Day.” July 2018 will mark the 10th year of Star City Pride.
The leader of the event, 1867 Bar will be hosting Snailmate, from Arizona, and Iowa band Coolzey, in addition to local artists Cameron Golden Lion and Bucii. The event is set to start at 8 p.m., there is a $5 cover change and $2 minor charge, all of which will be donated back to Star City Pride.
Hailing from Tempe, Ariz., Snailmate is a mixed-up, mashed-up group that brings in heavy influences from hip-hop, electronica, pop and funk. Their first full-length album, Love in the Mircowave, was released earlier this year. Duo Ariel Monet and Kalen Lander have made a name for themselves among the DIY community for erratic, unique, and all-out performances.
The other headliner of the night, Coolzey, also falls into the genre-less crossovers of hip hop, pop, indie and alternative rock themes. Coolzey released their second full-length album, Hit Factory, in 2013 and has toured with various hip-hop since. Last month, Coolzey finished a joint album with artists Fresh Kils, which has been appropriately titled Kilzey.
Currently, Coolzey and Snailmate are on a joint tour through the midwest and will be heading to Iowa and Wisconsin in the coming weeks. Both bands can be found on Spotify, Facebook, and Bandcamp.
Karynn Brown is an editorial intern with KZUM.