National Coming Out Day was first observed on October 11, 1988 – the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
The spirit of National Coming Out Day isn’t to force, or even encourage, anyone to come out – that process is always deeply personal and has to be done whenever the person is ready.
It’s to celebrate those who have come out, and to show those who haven’t that there is beauty in living proudly and openly LGBTQ+.
While each person’s experience is different, coming out remains one of the single actions that unifies every one of us in our wonderfully diverse and intersectional LGBTQ+ community.
For many queer people these days, thankfully, the process isn’t quite as frightening as it once was. However, many of us still face considerable challenges.
In fact, for many, the process of coming out isn’t just a one-time thing. Some queer folks will come out several times, in various ways, over the course of their life.
Over on @ItsLitGayShit, we asked you to share your own coming out story (in brief). The replies were, unsurprisingly, VERY varied – because there is no single way to come out.
If you’re struggling with coming out or anything related to your sexual orientation or gender, and you feel you could use some support, help is available.
In the U.K., visit SwitchboardLGBT or call 0300 330630
In the U.S., visit The Trevor Project or call them.
We had a LOT of replies, so sorry if we didn’t include yours this time. Here’s a few you came back with….