The Importance of National Coming Out Day

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The Importance of National Coming Out Day

Alex Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

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October 11th marks an important day for the LGBTQ+ community: National Coming Out Day (NCOD). Started in 1988 on the idea that homophobia thrives in silence and suppression, National Coming Out Day was created in order to create a day of solidarity for gay and lesbian people to come out of the closet and have pride in their sexuality. As the LGB community became more generally accepted by the American public, this day, along with most other Pride events, was opened to transgender, queer,  and other orientations and identities for their representation. 

While acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community within the Western world has grown massively since the creation of National Coming Out Day, it is still an incredibly important representation of Pride for closeted and out individuals. NCOD is often used as a tool by closeted individuals in order to give them the strength necessary to come out to those they care about.  Also, within countries that continue to shame, suppress, and endanger LGBTQ+ people, NCOD and Pride as a whole is seen as a way to help them feel connected to a broader community and keep them from feeling helpless and alone. Stories from countries such as Iran, Libya, and Russia prove that a connection to a global community from an isolated region where they are endangered for their sexuality or gender identity gives people support that they typically are not able to find anywhere else. 

With the youngest generation, National Coming Out Day is just as important as it was for the adults of its origin. Many schools still do not have sufficient resources for LGBTQ+ students, such as counseling and general support, and a kind of global support system can help them to be proud of their identity regardless of their situation. But, the point must be made that, if it is dangerous for you to come out of the closet, stay in it. The rate of homelessness for LGBTQ+ teenagers is considerably higher than their cisgender and straight peers, mostly due to lack of acceptance from their parents and families. Overall, while coming out of the closet can be liberating for many people, if it would personally result in endangering you and your future, you should wait for a safer time.

As a whole, the importance of National Coming Out Day is clear. To help to create a global sense of unity for LGBTQ+ people and, if they are in a safe place, to give them the push they need to come out of the closet.

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