The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

TJ Klune inspires COCC with LGBTQ+ representation and resilience

Fans of Klune gather in Willie Hall for the evening conversation

Central Oregon Community College welcomed TJ Klune, a New York Times bestselling author, on Tues. April 9 of last week. Two events with the author honored the Season of Nonviolence month. Students gathered at The Barber Library for a Q&A with Klune, followed by a sold-out event open to the public in Coats Campus Center.

During the events, Klune talked about a few of his novels, like the award-winning, House on the Cerulean Sea, and Under the Whispering Door. Both books feature representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

As a young boy growing up in Roseburg Oregon, Klune endured homophobic discrimination, which shaped him as a person and writer. Klune highlighted to his audiences the importance of kindness and resilience.

“I am a mother of two high schoolers in the LGBTQ+ community, one of whom is a writer. I was excited to get tickets when I heard of this author, his positive message and representation matter,” said Jessica George, a nursing student at COCC, who attended the evening event with Klune.

In Willie Hall, community members, students and staff congregated with his books in hand waiting for the renowned author to speak.

“I am so incredibly proud of both events.” Emily Moxley, head of access services at The Barber Library said. Moxley introduced Klune to the stage, with a beaming smile.

Moxley states how important it is to everyone involved in the programming for this year’s Season of Nonviolence events that LGBTQ+ voices be a focal point, especially as this year’s theme was Joy in Social Justice.

“I decided to attend the event because TJ is loud and proud about being part of LGBTQ+, and I am as well,” said Aria Bowman, a first year computer science student at COCC, who attended both events that day.

The Barber Library currently has a book display of several of Kune’s books for check-out for students and community members.

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Serena Zohbe Garcia
Serena Zohbe Garcia, Editor in chief
Serena Zohbe Garcia is editor in chief of The Broadside. She started contributing to COCC’s online newspaper in 2021.

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