Today marks the 32nd anniversary of National Coming Out Day.
“Every day I think about how lucky I am to have been born into a time and a place in the world where I have been (mostly) accepted for who I am. The generations before me, even including my own LGBTQ+ & queer family members, often faced very dark and isolating reactions when coming out and living their lives authentically. For National Coming Out Day, I want to thank all of the brave people who paved the way for me and my peers to love who we love and be who we want to be!”
– Car Astor
On National Coming Out Day and beyond, we here at Blue Élan want to celebrate every brave soul that has decided to come out and live their truth. Wherever you are in your personal journey, we support you and we’re proud to stand with you.
We invite you to learn more about what makes National Coming Out Day so meaningful. Keep reading to check out resources making an impact within the LGBTQ+ community, and how we all can get involved. Together, we can all show our love to the LGBTQ+ community today and every day.
Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community
Human Rights Campaign
- The Human Rights Campaign has spent 40 years creating the most powerful movement for equality our country has ever seen. But the most marginalized are still suffering from violence, discrimination and fear. Their goal is to ensure that all LGBTQ+ people, and particularly those of us who are trans, people of color and HIV+, are treated as full and equal citizens, across the country and around the world.
Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network
- GLSEN is proud to work with the leadership of passionate activists, tireless historians and researchers, inspiring educators and advocates, and most of all, the students and educators working every day to ensure safer, more inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ youth.
Safe Schools Coalition
- Safe Schools Coalition, located in Washington State, is a public-private partnership, in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, queer and questioning youth, working to help schools become safe places where every family can belong, where every educator can teach, and where every child can learn, regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Three Things You Can Read
Pride by Matthew Todd
- This non-fiction book explores the night the Stonewall bar was raided and the subsequent events that led on from that night in the fight for equality. Pride covers key moments and figures within the movement. The book also features rare photos and documents from that time in history and interviews with key figures.
Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride – 30 Years of Gay Britain by Paul Flynn
- This book looks at the history of gay men in Britain over the last 30 years and covers topics from AIDS to marriage equality. Good As You features a number of interviews with figures such as Will Young and Russell T Davies.
Trans Like Me : A Journey for All of Us by CN Lester
- Written by CN Lester, who identifies as non-binary, Trans Like Me covers a multitude of topics about the trans experience. The chapters include a piece on Caitlyn Jenner to a piece on pronouns.
Three Things You Can Watch
- Disclosure is a documentary on Netflix created by Laverne Cox and is about the representation of trans people in TV and film over the last 100 years. According to GLAAD, 80% of Americans do not know someone who is trans. This documentary aims to educate and raise awareness among that 80%. But further, it serves as a vehicle for the trans community to record their history.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
- Marsha P. Johnson was a historic figure in the LGBTQ+ community. She was an activist, transgender woman, sex worker and prominent figure within the community throughout her life. Marsha was found dead in the Hudson River and though her death was ruled as suicide, her friends and fellow activists did not believe this ruling. The documentary looks to shed light on the important work Marsha did throughout her lifetime and the impact she had on civil rights of gender nonconforming people.
Circus of Books
- Circus of Books is a documentary about a Los Angeles bookshop that sold gay pornography books and films. The film covers how the shop was a center for the queer community in Los Angeles and was somewhere that made people feel safe. The documentary also covers the AIDS crisis.
Three Things You Can Listen To
- This podcast features a different young person’s voice every episode to tell their most #QueerAF story. The podcast allows listeners to hear a plethora of different LGBTQ+ experiences. With episodes that range from a story by a queer Muslim sex worker, to dating as a non-binary person, to hearing what it’s like dealing with daily transphobia, you’re able to hear a range of queer voices and real life experiences.
Busy Being Black
- Busy Being Black is hosted by Josh Rivers and focuses on the queer black community. The podcast features a range of interesting guests and discussions. One episode features a discussion with a black queer Buddhist and another a conversation with health activist Bakita Kasadha who is a black queer woman living with HIV.
What the Trans
- What The Trans is hosted by Michelle and Ashleigh and is a UK based news podcast for trans, non-binary and allies. During the podcast, the hosts dissect and discuss recent news relevant to the community. For example, a recent episode was titled “The UK press lies about trans women being dangerous again” and “Disabled and trans during lockdown.”
How to be an Ally (All Year Long)
Today — if you are an ally, the biggest responsibility falls on you. The LGBTQ+ community needs your efforts to magnify voices. Here are a few ways you can step into allyship and honor and recognize National Coming Out Day (all year long).
Educate yourself. Google is a great tool for LGBTQ+ allies. Maybe there’s a word or an issue you don’t understand, and that’s okay! Not everyone knows everything, but it is important to take the initiative.
Confront homophobia or transphobia. For many LGBTQ+ folks, speaking out against homophobic or transphobic people can be dangerous. As a straight/cisgender person you are in a better position to do this, with far less consequence. Do not tolerate hate speech, “jokes” or homophobic behaviors. You may not change anyone’s mind but you may be making someone else in the room feel a little safer.
Help lift voices of people of color. LGBTQ+ people of color face higher rates of unemployment, violence, and poverty. Understand that people of color in the LGBT+ community will have different experiences with discrimination, and support artists, writers, and activists working towards equality for LGBT+ people as well as people of color.
Listen, learn, support. Each person in the LGBTQ+ community identifies in different ways and will have different experiences with their identities. Some may be “out” and proud, while some may still be in the closet or figuring it out.