Today, October 11 marks National Coming Out Day across the world.
Are you thinking that it’s time to tell that certain someone that you like Martha more than Arthur? That you like to dance with Lance? That you’re more Adam and Steve than Adam and Eve?
For many, coming out is the most terrifying experience of their lives, though for most it also becomes the most liberating. If you have been thinking about coming out as LGB or T and are still undecided, here are a few things to consider courtesy of Stonewall.
- Whether you’ve come to terms with your sexuality or you’re still thinking about it, it can be difficult dealing with that on your own. You may get to a point where you need to talk about it with someone, to get support or simply get it off your chest.
- Don’t feel under pressure to come out – take your time. Only you will know when you feel comfortable and ready to do it.
- To hide your sexuality from other people often means lying and pretending. You will need to think about whether hiding your sexuality is more or less stressful than being open about it.
- If you decide to come out, but are unsure how others might react, you could consider making contact with a support group first. There are helplines, community groups and agencies across the country who are there to support and advise you. It could also be good to start by telling one or two trusted friends first, before coming out to other people.
- Where people feel safe being visible and honest about being gay, they may challenge the stereotypes and prejudice others might have about homosexuality. It may help them to revise their attitudes towards lesbians, gay men and bisexuals and in the long term it will help to tackle homophobia.
- If you do come out, but get a negative reaction, don’t despair. Talk to someone for more support.
- Generally, however, you may be surprised by how positive the experience of coming out can be. Very few people regret coming out, even if it is difficult at the time.
National Coming Out Day was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder 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 11 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. Eighteen 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.
If you do decide to take that leap today, we’d love to hear about your experiences, so stay in touch, and remember…
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
Enjoy this? Check out Screaming Out of the Closet