National Coming Out Week
“Coming out is one of the most courageous acts any LGBTQ person makes, and on this National Coming Out Day that courage remains essential to our continued progress toward full equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
This week is National Coming Out week celebrating coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally and Today, October 11th is National Coming Out Day. This event, where the personal act of coming out becomes political is very special to Houston and is deeply connected to our LGBTQ history.
National Coming Out Week is held in October because the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 1979. The first such march on Washington, it drew between 75,000 and 125,000 gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and straight allies to demand equal civil rights and urge the passage of protective civil rights legislation. Houston activists such as Ray Hill and Charles Law not only spoke at this first march, but helped plan the event. Ray Hill was on the committee to decide what day the march would take place and pushed to have it the day after his birthday which is October 13th.
Today 53% or a majority of individuals are closeted at work and LGBTQ teen homelessness, suicide and bullying are the greatest challenges faceing out youth. Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other. Pride is in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, but National Coming Out Week is our queer community’s holiday.