More dancing, less judging

SU students came together for the "Big Gay Dance" in the Schine Underground in support of National Coming Out Day.

More than 80 people from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and their straight allies took to the Schine Underground dance floor on Saturday night for the "Big Gay Dance." 

The fifth annual dance is a place for people of all sexual orientations to express themselves in a safe environment, said Chris Wakefield, a 21-year-old Syracuse University senior who organized the event.

"This is an event where everyone can feel comfortable."
- Chris Wakefield
Dance organizer

Wakefield is the advocacy coordinator for Pride Union, a SU support group for members of the LGBT community and their straight supporters.  He says the annual event allows people to interact with one another without being judged.        

“On the surface the event is what it sounds like ­– a big dance party,” Wakefield said. “But for the LGBT community, it is actually more than that.  At a college party, if two boys or two girls start dancing together, it can cause a lot of drama. 

"This is an event where everyone can feel comfortable.”

SU graduate student Meghan Russell said she was happy to be able to dance with her girlfriend without being interrupted.

“It’s nice when you don’t have all these guys looking at you,” Russell said. “You can dance with another girl without having people heckle you or having a guy try to get in the middle.  Nobody is trying to start a threesome at the end of the night.”

The dance party is part of the celebration of National Coming Out Day. The annual event  on Oct. 11 is an internationally-observed day of awareness for coming out and discussing LGBT issues. 

Sophomore Nick Deyo, the resident advisor for the LGBT learning community on campus, said the day or dance aren't about emphasizing sexual orientation.

“It’s not about whether you’re gay or straight. It’s about interacting with people as individuals.”



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