It is on October 11 that National Coming Out Day is celebrated, an event that raises public awareness about the LGBTQ+ community. On this day, activists are doing their best to spread knowledge of this holiday, as homophobia is often perpetuated in silence. LGBTQ+ people have the right to openly declare themselves, talk about their gender, self-identification and sexual preferences to family and friends on October 11.
National Coming Out Day was created after a large-scale march in 1987, where approximately 500,000 gays and lesbians took part in Washington. After the four-month march, many people from outside the state, who identified as LGBTQ+, decided to create a national day to celebrate coming out. This holiday was initiated by Rob Eichberg and Gene O’Leary, who was the organizer of a personality development seminar and the head of a gay rights organization respectively. Eichberg believed that the most powerful tool for the equal rights movement was for people to know and respect an individual from the LGBTQ+ community. National Coming Out Day is meant to promote this recognition.
On the occasion of the holiday, it is important to remember the following facts:
- In 1924, the first gay rights organization, founded by Henry Gerber, was documented in Chicago.
- The riot against the police in Manhattan on June 28, 1969 was the impetus for the start of the LGBTQ+ movement.
- On May 17, 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage was registered in Massachusetts.
- National Coming Out Day is also celebrated in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
How to take part
The best way to celebrate this holiday is to actively support members of the LGBTQ+ community on social media. You can also support the fight for equality by making a voluntary donation to the organization that sponsors National Coming Out Day. Be prepared for someone close to you to come out, and show them maximum support. If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, this National Day is a time for you to decide to “throw off the mask” and be honest with the world and with yourself.
When is National Coming Out Day celebrated in 2023?
National Coming Out Day is observed on October 11 each year.