National Coming Out Day is an international event which gives gay, lesbian and bisexual people the opportunity to "come out" to others about their sexuality. It also provides a means of increasing the visibility of gay people. In the United States, the day is facilitated by the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Project (NCOP).
The first National Coming Out Day was held on October 11, 1988. This date was chosen for the annual event in commemoration of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It also marks the anniversary of the first visit of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Washington, D. C.
Many communities and college campuses sponsor activities such as dances, film festivals, workshops, literature booths, and rallies on National Coming Out Day.
PsychologyDegree.com recently posted a list of the “50 Brave Blog Posts About Coming Out.” My friend Bobby’s (My Big Fat Greek Gay Blog) coming out story made the list. Here is an excerpt from the introduction of the post:
One of the most important, impactful moments of a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, asexual, pansexual or queer individual’s life is finally breaking free from the socially-constructed closet and accepting that particular facet. The decision to come out comes fraught with a maelstrom of psychological, social, filial, emotional, mental and physical stresses – and due to the GLBTQ community’s status as marginalize minorities, they also have to fear discrimination, intolerance and (saddest of all) violence. Not to mention criminalization, occasionally punishable by death, in some nations. Because of this, it takes an impressive amount of personal integrity and strength to slough off society’s heteronormative expectations and be true to one’s own self. These incredibly brave blog posts represent a broad spectrum – though most of them sport positive and hopeful tones – of people coming forth to proudly accept their sexuality and asking loved ones for their support.
Click on the link above to visit the site and find all the links to these 50 blog posts.
As some of you know, I have talked some about my coming out experiences on this blog. If you want to read these posts, please click Coming Out. The last two posts in this category are not my personal stories, but the rest of them are. Here are links to the individual posts:
National Coming Out Day is merely a day of encouragement. I would not suggest to anyone that they come out before they are ready. Always know that there is support out there and come out when you are ready.
Sometimes that decision is not made by us, but for us. I hope that none of you face the problems of being outed. I hope it comes naturally when you are most comfortable with it. Best of luck to all of you, whether you are fully in the closet, partially in the closet, or completely out of the closet. Coming out is never a one time thing and it is a continuing process.