One Equal World

National Coming Out Day

Posted on: October 22, 2012

National Coming Out Day, now in its 24th year, is about a lot of things. Obviously, it’s about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people coming out, and people in support of them coming out as well. But it’s also about making sure that the LGBT people’s voice is heard, no matter if they’ve spoken up before or not.


It’s about visibility and education about LGBT culture and people. Not understanding the issue of inequality that denying LGBT rights causes is what this helps to combat. The more informed someone is, the more likely they are to understand what’s at stake and take a stand.


Twenty-five years ago, a historic march for gay rights on Washington, D.C.—of over half a million people—ignited the spark that created a day for LGBT awareness. Just two years after its conception, all 50 states and 7 foreign countries recognized NCOD. By the end of 1990, NCOD joined with the Human Rights Campaign Fund, one of the largest LGBT advocating organizations.


Each year on NCOD, there is a push to raise awareness of the LGBT movement and its history. For example, this year, ABC News posted a timeline of key events in LGBT history, such as Frank Kamney, the Stonewall Riots, Harvey Milk, Ellen DeGeneres, Matthew Shepard, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and President Obama’s support for marriage equality.


Aside from the parades and events that National Coming Out Day hosts, such articles are a great way to make information easily accessible by the public. Timothy Kurek has also been a great source of inspiration and insight on this year’s NCOD. Though Kurek identifies as straight, he spent a year posing as a gay man to gain empathy and understanding into what it was like to be gay.


He did this after growing up as an extremely conservative Christian that believed homosexuality was an abomination. After a gay friend came out to him, he started questioning those beliefs—and ended up taking the ultimate journey of his life. He wrote a book about his experiences and chose National Coming Out Day as its release date.


So yes, today is about coming out. But remember, it’s also about fighting ignorance, making our voices heard, and celebrating being a part of the LGBT community.


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