Ashley Gavin, comedian and feminist advocate, visited Penn State Lehigh Valley on Oct. 11 to perform for more than 100 students, faculty and staff and offer insight on the importance of National Coming Out Week. The comedian’s 60-minute stand-up routine highlighted a variety of past and current experiences which have impacted her personally.
“I like to write about interesting things as opposed to things that are funny,” Ashley Gavin said. “It’s about finding something that I’m passionate about and making it funny.”
Through personal experience, Gavin shared her perspective on how feminism and having a different sexual orientation has affected her. Attendees were given insight about the underlying issues of discrimination.
“I hope that I just broke the ice and I hope they just talk about it even if it is seen as risqué for them – to even have just heard about it is good,” said Gavin.
“Penn State as an institution is incredibly supportive and inclusive of the LGBTQ community,” said Samantha Beebe, program coordinator of biobehavioral health at Penn State Lehigh Valley. “A lot of people don’t know that there are transgender, pansexual and bisexual flags, which we hang in our halls. I think it is very important for people to take notice and get people talking so we can raise awareness."
While this is the last formal event we will have for National Coming Out Week, we do plan on observing Transgender Day of Remembrance in November to remember and honor transgender people globally who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. It is important to share those stories and raise awareness as well.”
Beebe said, she hopes the events raise
s awareness and open s people’s minds and hearts to the LGBTQ community.
The “All In” campaign at Penn State is an on-going University-wide initiative that welcomes students, faculty and staff together to display their commitment by creating and maintain a diverse and inclusive atmosphere – one that is respectful of all values and beliefs, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, abilities, background, veteran’s status and political beliefs.