“National Coming Out Day”: Why LGBT Liberation Means You Do You

Written by | Lifestyle

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Photo by Sharon Christina Rorvik

Although June is Pride month, there’s still another chunk of the calendar traditionally dedicated to our community. October is LGBT History Month (though that’s unlikely to be acknowledged by the current administration), and one of the month’s most important observances is Coming Out Day. Since its founding in 1988, the occasion has been observed on October 11 — encouraging to people to open up to friends, family, neighbors and colleagues about their orientation. The concept was born of the idea that the more people realize there are LGBTQ people in their lives, the harder it will be for them to deny us our rights. In 2017, Matthew H. Birkhold, then an assistant professor at Ohio State University, published an opinion piece in the Washington Post calling for an end to Coming Out Day. He reasoned that, since straight people don’t have to come out, it reinforces the idea that homosexuality is aberrant. We must forcefully disagree with this sentiment. In a world where LGBTQ rights are being assaulted from the highest office in the land, it is more important than ever for us to be seen, heard and known. Keep giving our community a face. Come out. hrc.org

Last modified: October 10, 2018