This year marks the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day. All over the country, it offers folks a platform to come out and fully embrace their LGBTQ identity.
National Coming Out Day, which falls on October 11, is also unique in that it allows individuals to come out on their own terms. For some, that may mean sharing their LGBTQ identity with just their family and friends. And for others, it may also include everyone who follows them on social media.
Even though there have been many great strides in LGBTQ rights and awareness, the LGBTQ community still faces discrimination and inequality in may areas of life. And as a result of constant stigma, harassment, and discrimination, LGBTQ folks are three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems, like anxiety and depression. For LGBTQ individuals who come out to their families and receive a negative response, they become eight times more likely to have attempted suicide than someone who was accepted by their family after revealing their sexual orientation.
Needless to say, National Coming Out Day remains important and necessary to members of the LGBTQ community. It acts as a lifeline and safe space for those who need it.
When did National Coming Out Day start?
This year marks the 31st year of celebrating National Coming Out Day. The day’s designation began 31 years ago, following a National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Why does it matter?
According to the Human Rights Campaign, every one out of two Americans knows someone close to them who identifies as gay or lesbian. Additionally, every one out of ten Americans knows someone close to them who is transgender. Although those number may seem small, it shows that the LGBTQ community exists.
However, to exist is not enough. Celebrations of LGBTQ identity, like Pride every June, help LGBTQ folks embrace who they are, and to spread awareness and build acceptance. Which is why a day to “come out,” is important; it brings folks one step closer to thriving in who they are, whatever it is.
Not sure how to come out?
If you want to come out, but don’t know how, you have options. You can take a look at the Human Rights Campaign resource guide to coming out, which offers ways for you to come out. You can view the guide here.
How you decide to come out is completely up to you, and should be done on your own terms. Having support can play a big role in coming out, and we want to make sure you have that. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a counselor at Apicha CHC, you can request an appointment below.