Frank Chumbiray's voice echoed throughout the downstairs of the HUB-Robeson Center Wednesday at the National Coming Out Day Rally.
"I am not just speaking out for myself. I am speaking out for people in the closet. I am speaking out for the allies," Chumbiray (senior-toxicology), an organizer of the event and secretary of the Rainbow Roundtable, said.
This year's theme is "Come Out, Speak Out!" and is directed toward the LGBT community and to the allies of the community.
Not only did the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Student Coalition speak at the rally, voices from Chaz Bono to allies of the community to Nate Althouse, academic adviser for Penn State Athletics, could be heard.
Chumbiray, who has been in charge of organizing the rally for the past month, said that the rally is supposed to show that Penn State is a safe place to come out.
"We want people hear our stories and realize in their own self that they should be able to come out and speak out," said Chumbiray.
Chumbiray acknowledged that some would rather ignore the rally but he also knew people would be excited to see the community come together and realize that there is support for people of all sexualities.
He also hoped that people would realize that there is a wide range of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Jenny Shipley (senior-mechanical engineering), president of the Rainbow Roundtable and co-organizer of the rally, mentioned that many people come to Penn State without ever meeting an "out" person.
"Many think gay people are only the very feminine men or the very butchy women. They do not understand your peers are part of the LGBT community," Shipley said.
Shipley stressed that people are not going to be able to ignore the rally since it is the "most visible event." Smack in the middle the HUB, the speakers were surrounded by rainbow balloons and had multiple microphones.
As Shipley came to the stand and announced, "Lend me your queers. Lend me your ears," a crowd gathered and took out their camera phones to snap pictures of Chaz Bono.
One by one, LGBT community members and allies spoke. Members with a range of experiences told their stories from being accepted to the harassment and homophobia endured.
Chaz Bono came to the stand and reflected on the difference that has happened in the community since he was a teen. He mentioned that as a child, bisexual and transgender were not even acknowledged.
Finally, the event ended with Althouse. He claimed that sports have been one of the most homophobic centers at Penn State and that he is hoping to bring that change to Penn State's community.
Chumbiray's predictions for the crowd's acceptance were proven true. Cheers and praise were evident as the speakers told their stories. As a LGBT member read an email from his father, tears were common from not only the members but from others in the crowd.
Sara Neild (sophomore-education) said the rally was "empowering."
As the rally came to a close, the presence of many LGBT could not be questioned.
"We are kinda everywhere. We are your peers," Shipley said. "We are Penn State."