Since 1988, the queer community around the world has been marking National Coming Out Day on 11 October.
National Coming Out Day is a concept that was created by Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary. The idea draws inspiration from the principles of feminism and gay liberation that the personal is political.
As queer people, the most basic form of activism we can take is to come out to family, friends, and colleagues – to live life openly as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Eighberg and O’Leary believed that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are queer, then they are far less likely to maintain homophobic views.
How should I celebrate National Coming Out Day?
When it comes to celebrating National Coming Out Day, a pretty safe option is just to be as unreservedly queer as possible – whatever that means for you.
If you’ve already done the coming out thing, and everyone you know is tired of you telling them how queer-AF you are, why not watch a queer movie? Or donate to an LGBTQ charity? Or support queer artists? Or troll homophobic politicians?
Just be gay, or queer, or whichever bit of the LGBTQ umbrella you most identify with. Just be you. That’s pretty powerful.