National Coming Out Day celebrates self acceptance

A collage of the different pride flags

A collage of the different pride flags

On October 11th, people around the world celebrated National Coming Out Day, an annual LGBTQ+ awareness day that spreads pride and brings the community together. It is an important day for young people who are looking for a way to come out to their families, friends and peers, and a way for openly queer people to celebrate their sexuality freely.

While many people would argue a day like this is insignificant because it doesn’t affect that many people, they would be incorrect. Williamsinstitute.law states, “There are approximately 9 million LGBT Americans, a figure roughly equivalent to the population of New Jersey.” However, this figure only takes into account the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. 

India.com states, “Over the years, new sexual orientations have been discovered that help people discover who they really are based on what sexually attracts them. So believe us when we say, there are at least 15 of them.” including androgynsexual,   skoliosexual, autosexual, and many more. Sexuality is constantly evolving and is truly a spectrum rather than just black or white.

Not only is coming out day important to the community as a whole, but it is important to each individual. Ian Norton*, a Blythewood student who is gay, said, “I definitely think coming out day is important, especially to younger people like us, figuring out who we are. It’s a good way for us to reflect on what our predecessors did, so we can continue to form the path they started.”

Violet Mac*, a middle school student who is pansexual, said, “Coming out day is something special for the gays everywhere. Especially if they need to get it off their chest or are just not quite confident with themselves while in the closet. Not coming out can create a lot of built up anxiety, and from personal experience, it’s not fun.” 

Jonathan Reed*, a nurse and previous Blythewood resident who is gay, said, “Yeah, I think coming out day is important for our community. It gives those strengths in numbers to bind together for safety and personal wellness. This day helps show support for those in situations to seek freedom and find joy.” Jonathan continued, “my advice for younger generations is to continue to express yourself and find solace with our community. It’s not perfect and as crooked as any other. But my general belief is that we are all here to love and support each other.”

It’s important to remember that people should come out only when they are ready. Coming Out Day isn’t a day to force people out of the closet, but rather a day to celebrate who they are as a person, and hopefully inspire confidence in those who aren’t yet out. Ultimately, people in the LGBTQ+ community just want to be normalized and accepted. 

If you are looking for small ways you can normalize being queer, or educate yourself on the topic, visit, Ooligan Press, or My Workplace Health

 

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.