National Coming Out Day is celebrated October 11th, with an emerging theme that the moment can be better framed as an opportunity to let people into your life, rather than you stepping out into other people’s space. The Human Rights Campaign puts it well:
“Coming Out” vs. “Inviting In”
“Coming Out” has been the common term for someone who acknowledges being LGBTQ+ and it is used throughout our resources. However, it is important to note that this language centers the persons we are coming out to rather than us. It gives the impression that people who don’t identify as cisgender or heterosexual are hiding something from society, rather than acknowledging how homophobia and transphobia create an unwelcoming environment. When publicly identifying as LGBTQ+, you are inviting people into a part of your life that should be protected and celebrated. You are not asking for permission to be you. You control the narrative, as well as who and what you allow into your life.
Remember, you are not alone. No matter where you are in your journey, we wish you a full, rich, authentic life — a life free from bias, discrimination and hate — and we are working hard every single day to make sure that is a reality for you and for everyone. We are gonna build a world where every LGBTQ+ person can be healthy, safe, liberated, celebrated and joyful in every area of our lives - without exception. Let’s do it together.
The HRC provides a wealth of resources to support LGBTQ+ folks planning to let more people into their authentic lives here, also hugely helpful for those who can be there to support them.
A recent discussion was held by the folks at PFLAG, the speakers sharing their experiences before, during and after the moment they shared their authentic selves with the world, highlighting that even though we celebrate National Coming Out Day, LGBTQ+ folks shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision they’re not comfortable with on this day. The right day may or may not come, only you’ll know, and there’s no one right answer. More resources to help you think everything through are available from PFLAG here.
National Coming Out Day is above all a moment to celebrate our wonderful, diverse and loving LGBTQ+ community – watch an incredible concert from the recent AT&T Turn Up The Love Tour, featuring Years & Years, Wrabel and Kelechi here!