It's a Rainbow Week at Kent State!

LGBTQ+ events throughout the week finish with the big Rainbow Weekend in Kent

It's going to be a colorful week at Kent State University and in the city of Kent with a schedule of LGBTQ+ events that includes Kent's Rainbow Weekend

Wednesday, Oct. 11, is National Coming Out Day. Originating in California in 1988, National Coming Out Day was celebrated regionally, at first. The event gained media attention in 1990 and was then observed in all 50 U.S. states and seven countries. 

Kent's Pride events are scheduled in October, around National Coming Out Day, because during Pride Month in June most students are away from campus for summer break.

Volunteers decorating the Rainbow Main Street Bridge

Volunteers decorated the Main Street Bridge in downtown Kent on Monday

Here's What's Happening:

At Kent State, the Honors College will be celebrating National Coming Out Day from 12-3 p.m. on Oct. 11 in Stopher Hall, Room 020. At their event, there will be a display that includes words of advice and encouragement about the coming out process created by Honors College students, along with rainbow cookies. 

Later that day, from 3:30-5 p.m., the LGBTQ+ Center will host its annual Flashes of Pride Poster Unveiling Party as part of its National Coming Out Day activities. Attendees will get to see the 2023 poster, featuring members of Kent State's LGBTQ+ community and allies, and then get to hear from some of the people on this year's poster, who will share what it means to them to be included this year. Snacks will be provided. 

From 3-4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, the LGBTQ+ Center will host a roundtable discussion around the topic of coming out. 

A tease of this year's Flashes of Pride poster.

A sneak peek at this year's Flashes of Pride Poster before its official unveiling.

Friday, Oct. 13 marks the beginning of the city of Kent's third annual Rainbow Weekend. In an exceptional town-gown collaboration, Main Street Kent, downtown businesses and Kent State's LGBTQ+ Center have teamed up to create events that celebrate acceptance and inclusivity. 

New this year, there will be a "Rainbow Walk" in which participants will receive a free rainbow tote with which they can visit more than 20 downtown businesses that will give away rainbow-themed items, including snacks and stickers. The eighth annual Rainbow Run 5k takes place in the evening with fun glow items and snacks. Runners and walkers raise money to support Kent State's LGBTQ+ Emergency Fund, a critical resource that helps LGBTQ+ students in need. Registration is required.  

The Kent Free Library is also hosting several events, including the Rainbow Film Fest and a safe space training and advocacy panel.

The schedule for all events can be found on Main Street Kent's website

Rainbow Unicorn running along Kent's Main Street Rainbow Bridge
POSTED: Tuesday, October 10, 2023 10:17 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 11, 2023 12:12 PM
Phil B. Soencksen