National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day which commemorates the individuals who publicly identify as LGBTIQA+ and support or celebrate the act of coming out. Coming out is when an LGBTIAQ+ person decides to publicly share their gender identities or sexual orientation. Though not everyone can safely come out, many people use the day to share their own personal coming out stories, support those who choose to keep their identities a secret or come out themselves.
Celebrated every year on October 11, on the anniversary of 1987 Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which called for President Ronald Reagan to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
There’s no “right” way to come out. The way you come out has only one rule: it should feel right to you. If you think someone that you’re coming out to might have a negative response, it’s a good idea to have a plan for how you’ll deal with it. Set up some support ahead of time from a person who knows and loves you.
NOTE to Allies
It’s important to just listen to the person coming and hear their out needs without making assumptions and be willing to learn. By coming out, the person is able to share with you and others who they are and what is important to them, rather than having to hide or lie about their identity. Coming out frees the person of the fear of being “found out” and helps them avoid living a double life, which can be extremely stressful and demoralizing. So speak out against homophobic or transphobic language and behaviour. Help create safe spaces for LGBTIQA+ people, especially LGBTIAQ+ youth, who may not have anywhere else to turn.