Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day. Rather than try to explain it myself, Wikipedia does a wonderful job, I’ll quote them at length. And check out, below the Wikipedia quote, the info about Google’s HangOut its holding today along with Dan Savage and a few others. Sounds interesting.
NCOD was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, an openly-gay political leader from Los Angeles and then head of the National Gay Rights Advocates. The date of October 11th was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
The first headquarters was located in the West Hollywood, California offices of the National Gay Rights Advocates. 18 states participated in the first NCOD, which was covered in the national media. In its second year, the headquarters moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and participation grew to 21 states. After a media push in 1990, NCOD was observed in all 50 states and seven other countries. Participation continued to grow and in 1990 NCOD merged their efforts with the Human Rights Campaign Fund.
NCOD is on October 11th because in 1987 people marched on Washington DC for Lesbian and Gay rights, this was the second such major demonstration and started many different organizations.
National Coming Out Day is observed annually to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movement. The holiday is observed in a wide variety of ways: from rallies and parades to information tables in public spaces. Participants often wear pride symbols such as pink triangles and rainbow flags.
National Coming Out Day is observed in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland,Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign sponsors NCOD events under the auspices of their National Coming Out Project, offering resources to LGBT individuals, couples, parents and children, as well as straight friends and relatives, to promote awareness of LGBT families living honest and open lives. Candace Gingrich became the spokesperson for NCOD in April 1995.
I will say that I get the sense that National Coming Out day has waned in influence as more of a came out. It’s been a bit of a victim of its own success. I know when I was younger, the day seemed, felt, more important. Perhaps I’ve changed, or perhaps the day itself has changed as more and more of us are out and proud. Not that it’s no longer necessary. I think of the recent video of posted about the boy in Tennessee who considered killing himself because he was bullied for being gay. Not everybody is out and proud, or safely so.
It’s still important for us to keep fighting for, and celebrating, who we are.
Now here’s the Google+ HangOut information:
In observance of National Coming Out Day, 10/11, It Gets Better will be hosting a Google+ hangout series with headliner Dan Savage from 5-6 EST. This hangout follows an MTV special that aired Tuesday evening in partnership with It Gets Better and will be held with the following schedule:
- Main Google+ hangout: 5:00-5:15pm EST
- with Dan Savage, Terry Miller, Janet Mock, Scott Emanuel, Ben Cohen, Seth Levy
- 4 Breakout topic sessions: 5:15-6:00pm EST
- 1 led by Dan
- The main and breakout hangouts will be broadcast from the It Gets Better +Page, with help from Take Part and the prominent guests listed above.
More information on the Google+ hangout can be found on the It Gets Better website.