Feminist Coming Out Day has been an annual event at Boston College since 2012. It came about as a way of promoting positivity and increasing willingness to identify as a feminist for BC students. It is a day marked by the distribution of buttons that read “This is what a feminist looks like,” meant to foster a positive environment around feminism and expand the number of people discussing it. Students are given the opportunity to pose for photos and explain why they are feminists. This brings the issue of feminism into the open and encourages students to support it and openly identify as feminists. Identifying as a feminist lends credence to the message and helps to affirm the idea for everyone at BC.
In years past the event has been held in the history department, where students would go to receive the buttons and involve themselves in the event. This year the event was moved outside, into a tent on Stokes Lawn, where passersby were offered buttons and given the opportunity to write on signs that read “I am a feminist because.” This move was a positive step for the event, which has gradually expanded since its founding. By setting up outside and engaging passing students, the event has become more visible and better accomplished its various goals.
While Feminist Coming Out Day was started by history professor Arissa Oh, and was a history department event, its expansion to include numerous sponsors has also contributed to the improvement of the event. These sponsors include the English, psychology, and sociology departments as well as the Institute for Liberal Arts, the Women’s Center, and the Undergraduate Government of BC. By joining together these various departments and organizations, Feminist Coming Out Day is able to reach more students and draw from a larger pool of resources. This year’s event promotion also helped to promote the message of Feminist Coming Out Day more effectively. The inclusion of Georgetown Cupcakes as a reward for taking a picture with a completed sign was a good way to interest students, a way that every student can appreciate.
In the future, Feminist Coming Out Day should continue to grow in visibility. This year roughly 300 students participated in the picture-taking and created signs. Feminist Coming Out Day promotes an important cause that affects all students on campus in some way. Moving into an outdoor tent this year was one step toward this increased visibility and, in planning next year’s event, steps should be taken to go even farther and drive participation numbers higher. By including numerous sponsors and involving other successful organizations such as the Women’s Center, Feminist Coming Out Day put on a good event this year and will hopefully continue to improve in the future.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor