We all have our little secrets: some dirty, some clean, many times kept to ourselves simply because we do not know how our lives will change once the secret gets out. For the vast majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, this struggle to “come out of the closet” can present a huge hurdle in life that few people who are not LGBTQ will ever experience.

This month we remember the importance of coming out and speaking out. Austin City Council “came out” a little more than a week ago by passing a non-binding resolution in support of marriage equality, the first city in Texas to do so. Less than a week before, two gay men who came to Austin for the gay pride celebrations were brutally attacked, a crime the community is urging the police to investigate as a possible hate crime. Clearly, LGBTQ people still need more supporters to end the violence—both literal and figurative—against our community on a daily basis.

The more we all come out, the more people to whom we bare our true, authentic humanity. Violence and hatred rely on disregarding humanity, so let us all join hands and come out together, agree to treat each other with dignity and hold accountable those who disregard that dignity.

This month, the Sexual Diversity Alliance will team up with other organizations to bring fantastic programming to the campus to highlight the importance of coming out, our appreciation for much-needed allies in the movement, and to raise awareness and funds for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation.

On October 11 from 10a.m. to 2 p.m., find the SDA and several other student organizations on the Esplanade for the National Coming Out Day Fair. Find music, stickers, other goodies, and information about how you can come out in various ways. For example, come out as a drag queen with Zeta Chi, or come out as a feminist with the Students for the Advancement of Gender Equality.

From Oct. 16 to October 19, come to our table in Coates and learn about what it means to be an Ally to the LGBTQ community, and get information about an Ally Appreciation Reception we will have that Friday afternoon.

Don’t miss the Trinity tradition of the Zeta Chi and SDA Drag Show on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. on the Esplanade. This fundraiser for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation consists of student acts emceed by a professional drag queen from off campus and judged by a panel of Trinity professors and staff. You’re also encouraged to sign up for an act by emailing Laura Kalb at lkalb@trinity.edu. Entrance into the show is free, but please tip the performers heavily, as all tips are donations to this fine charity.

Coming out is a continual process that happens every day, and our allies come out in support of human dignity and equality every time they say a kind word or stand up against injustice. We all, as one, celebrate coming out this month.

John Dean Domingue is a senior majoring in sociology and art.