October 11th is national Coming Out Day, a historic event that helps spread the word on LGBTQ issues nationally and locally and give’s those still in the closet a chance to be themselves. The Human Rights Campaign has released a series of videos commemorating the day, including clips from celebrity coming out stories as well submitted videos from members of the community.
Additionally, a video was released featuring Jay Brown, HRC’s Director of Foundation Program Strategies, discussing his own coming out journey, and explaining why National Coming Out Day still matters.
“When people know us, people see us as they neighbors, friends, coworkers, they support us,” Brown said in the video. “It’s one of our most powerful and basic tools – coming out. Every person who speaks out changes more hearts and minds, and creates new advocates for equality.”
“As our community celebrates victory after victory for equality, including two major marriage victories at the Supreme Court this year, it’s important to remember LGBT people still face great difficulties and challenges ahead,” said HRC Vice President and Chief Foundation Officer Jeff Krehely. “Twenty-five years after the first National Coming Out Day, it is still important to remember that the more we come out as LGBT people and allies, the more we tell our stories and engage others, the more victories we will achieve.”
Even if you’re out of the closet, consider taking time to discuss the issue with your friends and family tomorrow, and let others in your life know you appreciated it when they were there for you. And if you know someone who isn’t out yet, let them know you are there for them.