What is National Coming Out Day?

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“Vancouver Pride Parade” Photo by Kyle Pearce on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY- SA 2.0. No changes were made to the original image. Use of this photo does not indicate photographer endorsement of this article. Link to Picture: https://flic.kr/p/6PimJj

Payton Carns

National Coming Out Day is a day observed annually by the United States on Oct. 11 to celebrate members of the LGBTQ+ community coming out with their sexual identity to their friends, family and the world.

When did National Coming Out Day Start?

National Coming Out Day was first recognized by the United States 30 years ago, in 1988.

On October 11, 1987, over half a million people were part of the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights.

This march set the tone for the movement and many organizations arose from it such as LEAGUE, a group of employees at AT&T and the National Latino/a Gay and Lesbian Organization.

This inspired LGBTQ+ leaders from all over the country to meet together in Manassas, VA, a few miles outside of Washington D.C.

After discussing the negative treatment of people in the LGBTQ+ community, these activists decided there should be a day specifically recognizing the strength and bravery of those that have come out to the world.

From 1988 and forward, the anniversary of their march on Washington, has been recognized as National Coming Out Day.

Why is there a National Coming Out Day?

The organizers Rob Eichberg and Jean O’ Leary, as well as LGBTQ+ activists around the country, believed National Coming Out Day was necessary because the act of coming out was not being recognized enough.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, “As LGBTQ people across the nation and around the world continue to come out, opposition to equality will continue to crumble. Sharing our stories is a key way each of us can fight back against attempts to turn back the clock on LGBTQ equality.”

How is it celebrated?

This day is not only for coming out but for LGBTQ+ couples to celebrate their love and progress throughout the years.

Other LGBTQ+ celebrities such as Sean Hayes are using their social media platform to encourage young closeted teens and allies to recognize and celebrate this day.

 

The new film Boy Erased coming out this November also recognized National Coming Out Day.

The film highlights the experience of a boy coming out to his friends and family and part of this film is Troye Sivan, a well-known LGBTQ+ singer.

 

Here is a video of famous singer Hayley Kiyoko giving advice on coming out.

Featured Image Citation: “Vancouver Pride Parade” Photo by Kyle Pearce on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY- SA 2.0. No changes were made to the original image. Use of this photo does not indicate photographer endorsement of this article. Link to Picture: https://flic.kr/p/6PimJj