BC hosts 1st annual Light Up The Night Ceremony

Joceylnn Landon, Reporter

Throughout the year Bakersfield College hosts different events in support of the LGBTQ+ community. This year Bakersfield College hosted its first BC light up the night.

Leonardo Ayala, assistant director of student life, started by highlighting why Bakersfield College hosts events, such as National Coming Out Day. “Showing BC, and showing everybody at BC, the love and support that we have for our LGBTQIA folks on campus,” Ayala said.

Drone image of Light up the night
A drone shot of the BC logo in colorful lights for inaugural Light up the Night (PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE SEYMOUR )

Then, Adrianna Oceguera, the host of the event, spoke about the history of the importance of National Coming Out Day. The people bowed their heads for 11 seconds, as they honored those who identify in the community, who are no longer with us, and those who fought for them. Students were then able to have a safe and open space as they reflected on their journeys to where they are today.

As they gathered in a circle, they shared their names and pronouns, and some even told their coming out stories.

“Out, loud, proud,” It’s never too late to come out,” and “It’s not an ending of the story, it’s the beginning,” were some of the words that you would hear from the various faculty, staff, community members, and students who attended.

The Open-Door Network, the merging of the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter and The Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault, was there to let students know that there are services and support available from the community. The representative also shared how the Network years ago helped them come out and be themselves amidst all the struggles they faced.

Bakersfield College contributed to the event with multi-colored flashlights that students were able to take to shine light at the Admin Circle where the grass-imprinted BC sign lays. They had their pride flags, pride pins, pronoun pins, and each other. The people who attended were all there to do something in BCs history and were bold enough to participate.

There were 24 people at the event, where students lingered after the event was over to chat and connect.