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).
I want every member of the LGBTQ+ community to know you are loved and accepted just as you are — whether you’ve come out or not. I’ll fight every day in the White House to create a country where you can live open, proud, and free — without fear. #NationalComingOutDay
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 11, 2020
On #NationalComingOutDay and every other day, we celebrate those of you who have come out, as well as those without the affirming spaces to live freely as your true selves.
We see you, and we stand with you.
— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) October 11, 2020
Pete is asked about his feelings on #NationalComingOutDay
— THE PETE EFFECT (@ThePeteEffect) October 11, 2020
Today is #NationalComingOutDay AND my birthday! You can help me celebrate by by donating to The @TrevorProject, the world’s largest suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people. pic.twitter.com/zTVG7dYkAI
— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) October 11, 2020
— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) October 11, 2020
No matter who you love, how you identify, or where you are in your journey – New Jersey loves you and stands with you. And, together, we’ll keep up the fight for full equality. #NationalComingOutDay pic.twitter.com/M3ERr5RydJ
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) October 11, 2020
Happy #NationalComingOutDay. In New York, we welcome and celebrate all members of the LGBTQ community — out or not — and will never stop fighting for LGBTQ rights. Never. 🏳️🌈
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 11, 2020
On this day 13 years ago, I came out & told my fraternity brothers I was gay.
It made me the 1st person openly gay in Greek life at my University.
I was scared shitless & offered to leave.
— Extroverted Introvert (@JustJaggers) October 11, 2020
#NationalComingOutDay is a day not only to celebrate out and proud members of the LGBTQ+ community, but to remind all of us that we must continue building a future where everyone can safely be who they are without fear. Wherever you are in your journey, we stand with you.
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) October 11, 2020