In an effort to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights and celebrate coming out, October 11 is National Coming Out Day (NCOD).
On this day back in 1987, half a million people took part in a March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Considering it was only the second such demonstration in America's capital, that was a pretty big turnout! And the movement grew. Psychologist Robert Eichberg and political leader and lesbian activist Jean O'Leary, wanted to celebrate coming out in a big way and created the national holiday to be held on the anniversary of the very important march.
Individuals, communities and college campuses across the nation take part in the yearly event. Besides celebrating coming out and promoting awareness about the LGBT lifestyle, the annual event also shines the spotlight on discrimination and hatred against the gay community that still exists today. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, hate crimes against LGBT increased 13 percent from 2009 to 2010.
National Coming Out Day 2012
With the election right around the corner, supporting candidates running for office who fight for equal rights for all Americans, is paramount. With a different NCOD theme each year, the 2012 theme is "Come Out. Vote." Be sure to share your message on the nationwide map, asking elected officials to come out for tolerance and full equality.
Show your support for coming out!
Coming Out Resources
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is offering 20,000 free equality stickers when you fill out the online form. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.
- Don't know how to come out? Read this helpful guide from the Human Rights Campaign.
- Want to know what the laws and policies are in a specific state? Check out this handy dandy map from the Human Rights Campaign.
- Tell all your Facebook "friends" you support elected officials who support gay rights by using the new HCOD Facebook App.
- Check out these Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
- Bullying, whether it occurs online or off, can have catastrophic consequences. Learn the Signs of Electronic Bullying.
In honor of National Coming Out Day, feel free to share your coming out story in the comments section.
Part 2 of my post about Banned LGBT Books will be posted tomorrow.