A giant rainbow flag covered part of Fresno State's Peace Garden, a colorful display with a message from the school's United Student Pride organization. "There's a local movement that's really getting strong. And it's not an angry movement; it's a movement coming towards a place of understanding," said United Student Pride President Julia Scott.
The goal of the "Out is In" event was to reach out to students who otherwise may feel alone. The organization's president says even after coming out to family and friends, there is still a near constant fear of acceptance. "I feel like I've come out over and over again. It's really an ongoing process. Because every time you meet someone, you have to decide how to present yourself," said Scott.
Some deal with the transition better than others. Last month, the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi sparked outrage throughout the nation. Then two weeks ago, a Buchanan graduate took her own life after the 18 year old started living as Chloe, a transgender woman.
Monday, The Trevor Project set up a booth at Fresno State. The suicide prevention program is specifically for LGBT youth, who are four times more likely to commit suicide than their peers.
RaeAnn Redepenning moved all the way to California from the Midwest in hopes of finding acceptance. The graduate student has found support from peers but not her family. "You can't call your mom and just cry sometimes. That's probably the most difficult part about being gay and not being accepted by my parents," said Redepenning. Redepenning and fellow United Student Pride members still have hope for better understanding, though... a future where coming out is truly "in."