National Coming Out Day 2011

348/365 - 9/21/2011
photo credit: GabrielaP93

While I’m very grateful to live in a city where the vast majority of the population is rather accepting and open minded, I am well aware of how many queer folks need to live their lives in constant fear of being “outed”. Being “out” at work, or with friends, or even with family is a challenge, and has been for many individuals worldwide. And there is an actual celebration of “coming out of”.

Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day.

On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C.

Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.

To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly.

I remember the first time I wrote about NCOD, when I noted KPMG’s supportive stance of folks who remain in the closet, and how they celebrate those who live their sexual orientation in the open.

KPMG is committed to building a workplace that fosters diversity and inclusiveness. We salute our colleagues who have chosen to live their lives openly with pride, and support those who continue to struggle. You are not alone.

UBC is an extremely diverse and supportive community, in particular with the Positive Space campaign, but it also has created a number of other opportunities. And I celebrate National Coming Out Day with them too.

Do you know of any other organizations who are publicly supportive of queer folks?

Related posts:

  1. National Coffee Day 2011
  2. National Suicide Prevention Week 2011 (Sep 4-10th, 2011)
  3. National Aboriginal Day 2011
  4. National Coming Out Day ’09 #NCOD
  5. Upcoming event – National Coming Out Day (Vancouver)

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