Coming out is a process that can look different for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community, whether it be a gradual process or a sudden realization.
It comes from exploring your identity and accepting yourself for who you are.
For some, it can be challenging to navigate through these emotions. It’s not uncommon to have questions or to feel societal pressure from peers, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
That’s why National Coming Out Day on October 11th is meant to be celebrated. This day was first founded in 1988 by Richard Eichberg and Jean O’Leary, who both fought for the rights of the community.
National Coming Out Day marks exactly one year after the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It recognizes the brave people who are free to be themselves and acknowledges those who may not have a safe space to come out yet.
It’s a day to celebrate the courage it takes to live authentically in any way you choose, while still reflecting on those in the LGBTQ+ community who may not be in an environment where they can come out.
If you or someone you know is needing to support to come out, there are ways to reach out:
- Thank them for having the courage and vulnerability to share with you.
- Respect their wishes, whether they want to let others know or trust that you can keep it to yourself for now.
- Carry on with your relationship as usual and reassure them nothing has changed.
- Be prepared to offer them a shoulder to lean on.
Allies or those in the LGBTQ+ community can all come together to learn more about visibility and highlight self-acceptance. To find out more information, check out the resources below.
Coming Out Support | LGBT Foundation
10 Problems LGBTQ+ People Face When Coming Out
National Coming Out Day: Everything You Need To Know
20 Things to Know Before You Come Out and How to Go About It
The History of National Coming Out Day Contains Both Pride and Pain