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UCLA : Campus Rally Kicks Off National Coming Out Day

October 13, 1994

Students, faculty, elected officials and activists gathered at UCLA on Tuesday to kick off National Coming Out Day, an event organizers hope will encourage people to openly declare their homosexuality and show unity within the gay and lesbian community.

The rally, organized by representatives of several student organizations at UCLA, marked the beginning of a week of campus activities that included the listing in the Daily Bruin of the names of 325 openly gay and lesbian UCLA students, faculty and staff.

Held at the campus's Westwood Plaza, the rally featured speeches by David Mixner, a consultant to President Clinton on gay and lesbian issues; 41st Assembly District candidate Sheila Kuehl; swimmer and gold medalist Bruce Hayes, and actress Amanda Bearse of the TV show "Married With Children."

The noon rally, attended by about 100 people, was interrupted periodically by three fundamentalist Christian activists who called homosexuals sinners.

Kuehl, a UCLA alumnus, told of her experience as a sorority member who, coming back from summer vacation, found her lover's letters spread out on the coffee table for all to see. She was summarily dismissed from the sorority and found that she could not confide in anyone about her homosexuality.

"I thought I was going to die and I was terrified I wouldn't," said Kuehl of her experience.

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