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Queer Black students flaunt their pride on Out Loud Day. (Visual Vic/Getty Images)

October marks LGBTQ+ History Month, which celebrates the community’s notable contributions to the country and observes the fight for equal rights. Historically Black colleges and universities took part in the celebrations through their own HBCU Out Loud Day, held on the third Wednesday of the month. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation originally introduced the event to carve out a space for Black LGBTQ+ students at HBCUs.

“We established HBCU Out Loud Day, and it was a day that we wanted people to be out loud in their own way on campus,” Leslie Hall, the founder of HBCU Out Loud Day and HRC’s HBCU program director, told the Advocate. “We would rely heavily on the campuses themselves to post or, plan, post and organize events for their own community. We didn’t want it to be such a lift where we were planning the events on their campuses.”

About 14 HBCUs participated in this year’s celebrations, including institutions such as Howard University, Dillard University and Alcorn State University. The event included initiatives such as workshops, panel discussions and educational programs that highlighted the unique experience of being both Black and queer. The event also served as a space where students could embrace their identity without the pressure of coming out.

Read about the celebration’s impact on university life.

While a recent report has exposed public schools’ obstruction of race- and queer texts making their way into the curriculum, a more hopeful future may be on the horizon.

For more uplifting stories, browse our Breaking News page.

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