Nicholls held pride march ahead of today’s National Coming Out Day

Photo+by+Hannah+Guillot
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Nicholls held pride march ahead of today’s National Coming Out Day

Photo by Hannah Guillot

Photo by Hannah Guillot

Photo by Hannah Guillot

Photo by Hannah Guillot

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Nicholls State University hosted its first-ever LGBTQ+ Ally Rally and March on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

The event consisted of a march, guest speakers, entertainment, refreshments and a DJ. There was also participation from organizations such as KNSU, Louisiana Foundation Against Assault, Nicholls Athletics, University Counseling Center and the University Health Center.

Last semester, Krystyn Dupree, a counselor at the university’s counseling center, started an LGBTQ+ support group on campus.

Dupree said that she saw a need for the counseling center’s LGBTQ+ clients to have a space, so she started discussing with her group and coworkers about what they could do for those students on campus.

“National Coming Out Day is Friday, so in anticipation of that, we decided to have this ally rally so that we could show the students on campus that, you know, we’re supportive, we’re here,” Dupree said.

Elnora Vicks, counselor and outreach coordinator for the university’s counseling center, and Dupree worked closely and  used the feedback they received from students, to plan the event.

“This is our first year ever doing something like this,” Dupree said. “It’s beneficial to them because it’s showing them that we’re a supportive campus, and so, with every passing year that we do it, we’re just going to continue to show that support.”

The Nicholls Counseling Center’s director, Adrienne Naquin-Bolton, said that she feels that a lot of students on campus, and in the area in general, do not feel the support that they need to truly embrace who they are.

“This is an opportunity for them to find others who either identify with that or just allies on campus who they know that they can turn to if they need support,” Bolton said. “We’re all about breaking down stigmas in general, so this is one of them that we want to help with trying to break down.”

Nathan Mylie, a sophomore psychology major from Metairie, said that he thought the event was a nice way to let everyone get to know each other and that it let them know that they have other people around them who support them.

Joey Yesso, a senior culinary arts major from Houma, also attended the event. 

Yesso said when he was a freshman at Nicholls, he was a part of the gay-straight alliance group on campus, which ceased to exist shortly after he joined. He said he is in the process of creating a similar group and was getting contact information at the event from people interested.

“I decided this year, before I graduate, that I want to restart this safe place for LGBTQ+ students to have because I didn’t really have it,” Yesso said.

Cullen Boudreaux, a freshman vocal music education major from Thibodaux, said when he came to Nicholls, he looked for groups, clubs and organizations and couldn’t find anything fitting. 

Boudreaux said the event was not only a great opportunity to come together as a community, but also very important for the people who aren’t comfortable with themselves to receive visibility.

“It’s important for a small group of people, no matter how small it is, to be seen,” Boudreaux said. “To have this kind of group visible on Nicholls’ campus can not only impact our campus community, but also the community at large.”

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