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What to do (and what not to do) on “Coming Out Day”

“Even if you don’t accept what you’re being told, it’s important to offer support.”

This morning on Good Morning Quad Cities, we had "Breakfast with..." an important member of our community.

Chase Norris is the Executive Director of Clock, Inc., an LGBTQ+ resource center in Rock Island.

When coming out, Chase said the most important thing is love and support. For those who may be on the receiving side of things, Chase said that patience and time are most important.

"Even if you don't accept what you're being told, it's important to offer support," he said. "Acceptance comes with time."

Chase grew up outside of Peoria and attended Eastern Illinois University. He received a Masters Degree in Counselor Education from Western Illinois University.

He is a proud member of the transgender community and has devoted his life to helping others.

Chase started an LGBTQ+ youth group to help those struggling with their identities. He kept asking "If you could have any resource available, what would it be?"

That's where the idea for Clock, Inc. was born.

"If there's anything that this place needs to be, we've never said no to an idea," Chase said.

Clock, Inc. opened in March and is a resource that provides community support groups, counseling, youth drop-in hours, workshops, training, and is a safe place for all.

When asked what his turning point was, Chase said having a counselor helped him process coming out and the religious challenges that happened.

"I worked through those things and it kept me going," he said.

After getting through those challenges, he said he "knew I needed to go back to school so I could help others."

Clock, Inc. will be hosting a Coming Out Celebration Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

It begins at 6 p.m. and will have food and drinks, a photo booth, games, an LGBTQ+ panel at 7 p.m. and "free Mom hugs."

Clock, Inc. is located at 321 24th Street, Rock Island, Illinois. Their telephone number is 309-558-0956.

There is no admission and everyone is welcome.

"These kids continue to inspire me each week and give me the motivation to keep going," Chase said.