DULUTH, Minn -

National Coming Out Day first started back in 1988, and since then GLBTQ community members and allies have gathered together every year to celebrate being yourself and remember the on-going struggle for peace and equality.

Up at UMD, students and faculty came together to remember the mass shootings in Orlando that devastated many in 2016, but also to share coming out stories celebrate strength and being yourself.

"I always leave this event feeling so positive about where we're at as a community and feeling really inspired hearing folks share their stories and being in a space that's just so accepting and welcoming for everyone," said Jeremy Leiferman the Chair of the GLBTQAI Commission.

"Coming into a safe space and coming into a campus where things like that are celebrated and there's opportunities for them to connect it's important," Former UMD Women's Hockey Defender, Julianne Vasichek said.

Coming out day at UMD typically hosts around 250 students and staff.