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Happy #NationalComingOutDay 2020

Since 1988, October 11 has been observed as National Coming Out Day (NCOD) in the United States with the idea that the most basic form of activism is coming out to family, friends, and colleagues, and living life as an openly LGBTQ person.

Homophobia thrives in an environment of ignorance and silence, and studies show that when people know that they have loved ones who are gay or lesbian, they are far less likely to hold homophobic views.

I’ve related my own coming out story (which was really more of a ‘journey’ than an ‘event’) here on The Randy Report, but I wanted to note the other side of this equation – when someone comes out to you.

For years, as a gay man, coming out primarily held a place in my head as MY coming out. But some time ago, when I was still co-hosting an online radio show with Candi Fox (The Candi & Randy Show), a regular listener reached out to me and asked if they could call me. I said, “sure.” 

What followed was someone coming out to ME, which hadn’t happened before.

The listener shared that by listening to the show and reading TRR, my ‘out-ness’ had inspired them to come out – to me. I remember being touched and honored that I was the first person they decided to trust with the news. And this only occurred because they had come to see me as an out, proud gay man.

The power of visibility.

By the way…did you know that when music icon Diana Ross released her 1980 hit “I’m Coming Out” she initially had no idea the songwriters were writing about queer folks coming out?

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and some other folks tweeted their support about the day. (Don’t bother looking for a tweet from Donald Trump about NCOD, there isn’t one).