Today—October 11, 2023—marks the 35th National Coming Out Day (NCOD).
NCOD is an annual LGBTQ awareness day that started on October 11, 1988 on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights by way of support to anyone who wishes to “come out of the closet.” The event, which was first observed in the United States, also serves as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out.
HRC said that NCOD is “an opportunity to emphasize the importance of coming out and creating a safe world in which LGBTQ people can live openly as their authentic selves.”
But National Coming Out Day isn’t just about “coming out” per se, the point is visibility, said HRC. That, yes, NCOD is here to celebrate our coming out but also to “raise awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movement.” More importantly, the celebration is a way of showing support and reminding others who had not come to terms with their own sexuality yet thereby feeling alienated that we are here, we exist, they are not alone. NCOD is about sharing one’s story and experiences to inspire others yes, but “coming out” comes in many forms: coming out to ourselves (self-acceptance), “coming out as an ally or a supporter, or coming out as a family member of someone who’s LGBTQ.”
It’s important to remember though, that NCOD is not about coming out yourself, today, as “coming out is an individual decision, and it’s important to do it in your own way,” according to NHS. If someone did that for you without your consent, that’s called being outed and it’s not what NCOD is about.
If you are planning to come out and you don’t know where to start, The Human Rights Campaign can help you come out and live openly at home, at work and in your community as they have resources that you can read here.
What is your coming out story, guys? Share it with us in the comments section below.
Happy National Coming Out Day!