National Coming Out Day: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Identity and Solidarity

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual event that takes place on October 11. It is a day to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community and its members who choose to come out of the closet and share their authentic selves with the world. The goal of the holiday is to raise awareness and visibility of LGBTQ+ people and their experiences, as well as to foster a culture of acceptance and inclusion.

National Coming Out Day

NCOD was founded in 1988 by LGBTQ+ activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary, who chose the date to commemorate the first anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, a historic demonstration that drew hundreds of thousands of people to demand equal rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. Eichberg, who died in 1995 of complications from AIDS, said in a 1993 interview, “Most people think they don’t know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact everybody does. It is imperative that we come out and let people know who we are and disabuse them of their fears and stereotypes.”

Why is National Coming Out Day important?

National Coming Out Day is important because it empowers LGBTQ+ people to live openly and proudly, and to inspire others to do the same. Coming out can be a liberating and transformative experience that can improve one’s mental health, self-esteem, and sense of belonging. It can also help break down the barriers of ignorance, prejudice, and discrimination that LGBTQ+ people face in many aspects of their lives, such as education, employment, health care, family, religion, and politics.

According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, 45% of LGBTQ+ employees believe that being open about their identity at work negatively impacts their careers. Moreover, LGBTQ+ people are still subject to violence, harassment, and hate crimes in many parts of the world. In 2023 alone, over 30 laws have been enacted or proposed in various states in the U.S. that restrict or ban LGBTQ+ content in schools, access to bathrooms and sports teams based on gender identity, and medical care for transgender youth. These attacks on LGBTQ+ rights and dignity underscore the need for more visibility and advocacy for the community.

How can you celebrate National Coming Out Day?

There are many ways to celebrate National Coming Out Day, whether you are LGBTQ+ or an ally. Here are some suggestions:

  • If you are LGBTQ+, you can choose to come out to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, co-worker, or teacher. You can also share your story on social media using hashtags like #NationalComingOutDay or #NCOD. Remember that coming out is a personal decision that only you can make, and you should do it at your own pace and comfort level. You don’t have to come out to everyone at once or at all if you don’t want to. You are valid and worthy no matter what.
  • If you are an ally, you can show your support and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community by listening to their stories, educating yourself on LGBTQ+ issues, speaking up against homophobia and transphobia, donating to LGBTQ+ organizations, attending LGBTQ+ events, or displaying rainbow flags or symbols. You can also check in on your LGBTQ+ friends and family members and let them know that you love and accept them for who they are.
  • Whether you are LGBTQ+ or an ally, you can also celebrate National Coming Out Day by learning more about LGBTQ+ history and culture. You can watch documentaries, movies, or shows that feature LGBTQ+ characters or themes; read books or articles by LGBTQ+ authors or about LGBTQ+ topics; listen to podcasts or music by LGBTQ+ artists or allies; or visit museums or landmarks that honor LGBTQ+ heritage.

Where can you find resources and support for National Coming Out Day?

If you are looking for resources and support for National Coming Out Day, there are many online platforms and organizations that can help you. Here are some examples:

  • The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest national LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the U.S. It offers a comprehensive guide on coming out as well as information on various issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The Trevor Project is a leading national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth under 25. It operates a 24/7 hotline (1-866-488-7386), a chat service (thetrevorproject.org/get-help-now), a text service (text START to 678678), and an online community (TrevorSpace.org) where young people can connect with each other.
  • GLAAD is a global media advocacy organization that works to promote fair and accurate representation of LGBTQ+ people in the media. It monitors and responds to media coverage of LGBTQ+ issues; produces annual reports on LGBTQ+ visibility on TV; organizes campaigns and events to celebrate LGBTQ+ voices; and provides resources for journalists, creators, and consumers of media.
  • PFLAG is the largest organization of parents, families, and allies of LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. It has over 400 chapters across the country that offer peer support, education, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones.
  • GLSEN is a national organization that works to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ students and educators. It conducts research on LGBTQ+ issues in education; provides tools and resources for students, teachers, and administrators; and organizes programs and initiatives such as the Day of Silence, the National School Climate Survey, and the GLSEN Respect Awards.

National Coming Out Day is for everyone

National Coming Out Day is a celebration of LGBTQ+ identity and solidarity that aims to create a more inclusive and respectful society for everyone. By coming out or supporting those who do, we can make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ people and ourselves. As the NCOD slogan says, “Every time someone speaks up, the world becomes a better, more interesting place.”

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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