allies by Julia Ismail October 11, 2017
National Coming Out Day hasn’t always had the best reception from some in the the LGBTQ community.
And I get it, I truly do. As if the LGBTQ community doesn’t go through enough, now there’s a national holiday that requires your “coming out,” like a simple annual wait was all you needed. I spoke to my gender queer friend Sara, 24, about the national holiday, she told me she has issues with it,
“Unpopular opinion: I hate National Coming Out Day. I feel like there’s pressure to come out and shame if you don’t and the physical and emotional violence that could happen if someone puts themselves isn’t addressed. But I can also understand the relief that happens when letting others know about a part of your identity that was hidden, and I definitely relate to the power and comfort of finding and having a community.”
“Coming out,” is a change in lifestyle that few get to experience. Those who do know the emotional, mental, and physical burdens and shifts experienced once you do.
For others, it’s as easy and refreshing as a simple tweet.
Today is the day we hear of coming out stories and experiences shared all around the world.
When Waverly came out it was such a beautiful part of the #WayHaught S/L how accepted she was. Happy #WayHaughtWednesday & #ComingOutDay 😍🌈 pic.twitter.com/GMOGCviwqR
— Naomi Earp (@BlanchettWatts) October 11, 2017
The controversy lies on the darker side of the action. While “coming out” is an existential change for some, others have argued that it’s not necessary to do so at all.
The Washington Post ran an engaging op-ed titled “It’s Time To End National Coming Out Day.” The author, an openly-gay assistant professor, suggested that you scratch the whole ritual.
“Continuing to use the rhetoric of “coming out,” argues Matthew H. Birkhold, “Reinforces a view that heterosexuality is the norm. ‘Coming out’ implicitly announces — to LGBTQ individuals, allies, and enemies — that gay people are aberrant. Our homosexuality is so different that we must proclaim it; heterosexuality, however, is normal and expected.”
Makes complete sense when you think of it like that, right?
But still, the representation of the holiday does have the desired positive effect. Right now, we are living in “the Trump Era“and signifying where we stand with LGBTQ issues has become more important than ever before.
The first time thousands of supporters protested on the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights was on October 14th, 1979. The march started after the assassination of the gay politician Harvey Milk. This response was the beginning of the modern gay-rights movement.
Your sexuality is valid.
Your gender identity is valid.
Your voice is valid.
You are valid. 🌈#NationalComingOutDay
— Teen Talk Hotline (@TeenTalkHotline) October 11, 2017
Today, allies, supporters, and queers alike come together to show their support of the annual holiday. Organizations like Glaad and the Human Rights Campaign’s donation page send funds to the community and offer you an outlet to have your voice heard.
Even if Coming Out Day isn’t in line with your celebrations, you can be in support the LGBTQ in your own way. PFLAG, NLGLA, and many other supporter groups could use your help all year round.
If you feel comfortable enough to come out today, be sure to post your pride in your cutest social media selfie, or share your own coming out story with the world.
Happy #NationalComingOutDay! ❤️💛💚💙💜 pic.twitter.com/zsnCdDu8el
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) October 11, 2017
Despite the support for LGBTQ campaigns, there’s a serious hesitation to engage in the movement. Spread love!
What do you think- should we have National Coming Out Day, or is it an unnecessary hype?