Coming Out

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National Coming Out Day October 11
Come On Out, The Water's Fine
It Gets Better


National Coming Out Day October 11

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), etc. It is observed by members of the LGBT communities and their supporters (often referred to as "allies") on October 11 every year,[1] or October 12 in the United Kingdom.[2]

NCOD was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and Jean O'Leary, an openly-gay political leader from Los Angeles, on behalf of the personal growth workshop The Experience and National Gay Rights Advocates.[3][4] The date of October 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[5]

The first headquarters was located in the West Hollywood, California offices of the National Gay Rights Advocates. 18 states participated in the first NCOD, which was covered in the national media. In its second year, the headquarters moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and participation grew to 21 states. After a media push in 1990, NCOD was observed in all 50 states and seven other countries. Participation continued to grow and in 1990 NCOD merged their efforts with the Human Rights Campaign Fund.[1]

ObservanceEvents are held annually to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBT community and LGBT rights movement. Participants are encouraged to wear pride symbols, such as the pink triangle (gays), Bisexual pride flag (bisexuals) & the black triangle (lesbians), the Greek letter lambda, and rainbows in jewelry and on clothing.


1. a b "History of National Coming Out Day". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 2008-10-17. "Every Oct. 10, thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and allies celebrate National Coming Out Day."

2. Gillan, Adrian (2008-10-06). "Closet Case?". Lifestyle. United Kingdom: GaydarNation / QSoft Consulting Ltd. Archived from the original on 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2009-10-11. "As UK National Coming Out Day looms (12 October), GaydarNation’s Adrian Gillan considers those who - for all kinds of reason and by varying degree - choose not to be open about their sexuality."

3. "Robert Eichberg, 50, Gay Rights Leader". New York Times. August 15, 1995.

4. "Robert Eichberg, Gay Advocate". The Seattle Times. August 14, 1995.

5. "History of National Coming Out Day: 1987: In the Beginning, There Was a March". Coming Out. Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved March 25, 2011.


Come On Out, The Water's Fine

Coming out can be terrific, terrifying, or traumatic. Luckily, you live in a time when there's support and guidance as close as your computer. A good place to start is the official site for the National Coming Out Project and National Coming Out Day at The site, part of the Human Rights Campaign's enormous Web presence, is an impeccable source for accurate and supportive information.

If you haven't taken that first step out and are wondering what it's like, you can read coming-out stories culled from Internet message boards at

Parents, of course, are often the hardest people to come out to. To help soften the blow, Scott Bidstrup set up a special site titled My Child is Gay - Now What Do I Do? at

In contrast, the sparse page at holds just a single essay. But this powerful commentary, written by an anonymous mom dealing with her daughter's coming-out, is the kind of Web page you'll want to print and share with anyone who is thinking of coming out.

On the other wide of the coin, A Coming Out Guide for Gay Dads, located at offers tips on coming out to your kids.

For advice on coming out as transgendered log on to

Take a journey with David, an Australian teen, as he comes out to the people in his life, all recorded in his online diary at

For a humorous take on National Coming Out Day, check out the parody page at

 Source: Eric Mueller,  or

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