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Celebration of Identity: National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day first started in 1988 on the one-year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Since then, it has proven to be an annual show of support and solidarity. While it’s true that some individuals may choose to come out on this day, the true purpose of NCOD is to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQA+ community and raise awareness in order to show individuals that they are not alone. The day encourages discussion and open-mindedness about sexuality that, in turn, may help individuals who have not yet chosen to openly express their sexuality. By sharing their own coming out stories, people who have already made their sexuality known may give hope and inspire others to do the same.

NCOD can be celebrated by heterosexual people as well, as a sign of acceptance and support. In a time where the LGBTQA+ community is still not universally accepted in society, NCOD sends the message that people will no longer hide who they are just because it makes someone else uncomfortable. It shows that the community will not back down, and sends the message that individuals don’t have to live in fear of who they are. There is far more support than there is hate.

This NCOD was celebrated nationwide. All across the country, different cities held festivals or parades to recognize the day. Many colleges and universities joined in on the celebrations as well. Our own Adelphi University held a special event at the University Center. Throughout the day, members of the Adelphi community shared their own coming out stories. The event was followed by a vigil at night, which aimed at both celebrating acceptance and honoring individuals who have faced discrimination.

National Coming Out Day sends a universal message to every single person: don’t be afraid to be who you are, and don’t make someone else fear the person they are. The day is about strength, bravery, and acceptance. It commemorates battles lost, battles won, and battles to be won.

 

For useful information and resources for LGBTQA+ individuals and allies, please check out the Human Rights Campaign page for National Coming Out day. 

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