This article was published on September 30th, 2019
National Coming Out Day is quickly approaching, and it is important that the queer community honors, celebrates, and participates in this historically important holiday. National Coming Out Day is a day of LGBT awareness and one that recognizes the most basic, yet significant form of activism is coming out to family, friends, and coworkers, while being proud about who you are as a person.
Queer people are still drastically underrepresented in media and government and remain a minority in much of the planet. While LGBT rights are on the rise worldwide, there are still regions and countries that criminalize homosexuality and gender non-binary people with prison, brutality, and even death. Some leaders deny that homosexuality even exist in their country.
That is why Coming Out Day is so important. The simplest of activism lies in being honest and open with your sexuality to everyone. Out and proud and unapologetically queer and YOU.
Created in 1988 by Jean O’Leary and Robert Eichberg, National Coming Out Day was a way to counter anti-gay sentiment and action with a positive response. Jean O’Leary was a lesbian political activist and former head of the National Gay Rights Advocates in LA. Eichberg was a psychologist and personal growth workshop creator who eventually died of AIDS in 1995.
“Most people think they don’t know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact, everybody does. It is imperative that we come out and let people know who we are and disabuse them of their fears and stereotypes,” Eichberg said to the New York times in 1993.
The unlikely pair came together to create National Coming Out Day, choosing the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington For Lesbian and Gay Rights, October 11, as the official date.
Today, National Coming Out Day is a day to raise awareness for the queer community and observe the current situation for LGBT people, and celebrate the victories and triumphs for gay/ queer/ non-binary people everywhere. This October 11 kick the closet door wild open and be loud, proud, and simply YOU on National Coming Out Day.