Students share their stories at “Queer The Air”


GVL / Macayla Cramer

Melia Williams, Staff Writer

In honor of National Coming Out day on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Grand Valley State University’s Milton E. Ford LGBT resource center hosted its “Queer the Air” event on Oct. 12 to celebrate. This was an open mic spoken event where students and members of the community could come out and share their stories, or to listen and offer support. 

“To be able to have this event tonight is really just to provide a space to make sure that people are able to be themselves and that we don’t have to be quiet about it,” said D.L. Mckinney, the Director of the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center. 

National Coming Out Day has been celebrated annually since 1988. McKinney said the day is all about the acceptance and proclamation of one’s identity. 

“It’s a day where people are authentic, loud and proud of their own identities and letting other people know,” Mckinney said. “The idea is that if we don’t accept silence or living in ignorance, then people can’t deny that we are human and that we have rights.” 

Mckinney said when these stories are shared, students and other individuals notice they have similar experiences, broadening the circle of support. 

S’Niyah Tate helped direct the course of the event as the facilitator for the mic and the one introducing each person that signed up to perform. 

There were over a dozen volunteers that wanted to speak to those in attendance, one of which was Kyle Mcvey, who read the words of his late husband. 

“It was a beautiful way of being and it was so authentically him,” Mcvey said at the conclusion of his presentation. 

Halfway through the performances, there was an intermission with food for everyone in attendance. Tate didn’t just facilitate the mic, but also had her own presentation; a game show-style performance she created in support of the LGBT community. 

The room was full of emotion as some people told jokes while others were vulnerable enough to speak about difficult points in their lives. 

Heather McCorkle, a GVSU freshman, performed a song she wrote. She said she wrote it not long after coming out to her mom, which made it very special to her. 

“When I was first figuring out who I was, I wanted music to show that side of me and I wanted to be that role model,” McCorkle said. “It should be represented and it’s not something to be ashamed of. It should be something that people are proud of and that they sing about.” 

McKinney wants all GVSU students to be aware of other events that the resource center has coming up such as the “Queerapoolooza” pool party at the Rec Center on Oct. 28 and the “Wear the Rainbow” free clothing event that is looking for donations. 

For more information on these events or the LGBT resource center visit