Campus a safe place for queer students

By Teresa Acosta

For National Coming Out Day, officials said East Los Angeles College is a safe space for members of the queer comunity by having a day-long event. 

Early yesterday morning elected officials, faculty, staff and students gathered near the front of campus to raise a pride flag signifying the inclusivity of LGBTQ+ people.

As part of National Coming Out Day, ELAC hosted multiple events including the flag raising, a ribbon cutting, a film screening and an Open House.

Los Angeles Community College District Vice President David Vela said the event marked a day of celebration. ELAC is the first of the nine LACCD colleges to raise a pride flag. 

“To send a message to the rest of America that our colleges, even if we’re publicly funded, should raise this flag during October, should raise it during June and pride month and we should not be shying away from that. We should be proud of that,” Vela said. Vela is part of the Chancellor’s advisory committee on LGBTQ+ affairs.

The goal of the committee, formed in 2018, is to create a feeling of safety, to provide access to resources and to allow students to have pride in who they are regardless of ethnicity, color and sexuality. 

Henry Lo, mayor of Monterey Park, said he was grateful to be a part of this occasion and highlighted some of the work he has done over the years for the queer community. 

As mayor, he helped organize the first gay-pride march last year, which culminated in front of City Hall.

The ELAC Pride Center was officially opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony as part of the day’s events. The Center is located in building F5-204. 

The LGBTQ+ Resource Coordinator, Lynn Wood, said students should know that the center is open to them. 

She said there is a space on campus for them if, and when, they decide to come out.

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