For time out of mind members of the LGBTQ community have had to hide in fear for their livelihood and their lives. Constant fear of being rejected by friends and loved ones, as well as the community of which they are a part, has led to many of them remaining in the proverbial closet. This means living a half-life at best, and hiding who you are from those who should be nearest and dearest to you. Coming Out Day challenges this ancient standard, and encourages LGBTQ people everywhere to stand proud and claim who they are, and thus reclaim their lives and sense of pride.
History of Coming Out Day
It all started at… well… let’s be honest it all started pretty much at the dawn of time. Throughout the world people and cultures everywhere have had LGBTQ people in their midst, and in many of them they were openly accepted and embraced as natural, or even sacred people in their cultures. In the last couple hundred years the majority of the world’s leading cultures began to villainize them, growing worse with every passing year.
But in the last few decades all that has begun to change, courageous members of the LGBTQ community fought and worked to help gain their rightful place in the world, accepted as just another person rather than some kind of monster or dangerous pervert. Really, the battle they fight is for something much simpler, the ability to have a safe and normal life enjoying the same liberty as their more socially accepted neighbors.
Coming Out Day was created by Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary as a result of the 500,000 person March on Washington DC for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The experience was enough to vitalize them and lead them to establish this holiday, which encourages all LGBTQ people and their allies to stand proud of who they are and to fight for a more equal tomorrow.
How to celebrate Coming Out Day
Throughout the world there are celebrations being held of LGBTQ people everywhere coming out of the closet and loudly and proudly proclaiming who they are and standing side by side with their allies for a more equal and accepting tomorrow. You can get involved by joining them or by volunteering with local groups and organizations working to raise awareness and support the challenges faced by LGBTQ people in a world still struggling to accept them.