On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It is often referred to as “The Great March” and involved protests in front of the Internal Revenue Services Court, along with the unveiling of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. The demonstration results in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization. Rob Eichberg, founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that The Great March to mark it. National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was born.
This Saturday marks the 26th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day. NCOD serves as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. According to Human Rights Campaign, one out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian, and for transgender people, that number is only one in ten.
Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, creating new advocates for equality. I’ve gathered some materials and resources to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally.
1. Check out some of our favorite coming out books and movies, including:
2. The Human Rights Campaign celebrates National Coming Out Day on this YouTube video.
3. Check out R U Coming Out, a site dedicated to inspire, support, and unite those who are living their lives either completely, or partially in the closet. The main focus of the site is the stories: people from all over their world share their own personal accounts of Coming Out. The purpose of this site is not to encourage people to Come Out before they are ready or to make them feel under any pressure to do things in a particular way; it is simply a source of first hand accounts from people who have already been through, and are still going through, the process themselves.
4. Check out coming out guides and other resources provided by the Human Rights Campaign.
5. If you’re a straight ally, check out Coming Out as a Straight Supporter.
6. And finally, check out some of the more creative ways to come out of the closet courtesy of BuzzFeed: 24 Awesomely Creative Way to Come Out of the Closet. and 41 Awesome Ways to Come Out to Your Friends and Family