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What is National Coming Out Day?


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October 11th has been recognized as National Coming Out Day since 1988 in the United States. Now — 30 years later — other countries, including Canada, have started to celebrate this day as a way to bring awareness to this sometimes scary, stressful, but important time for LGBTQ people.

Find out more about what LGBTQ stands for

What is 'coming out?'

The term is short for coming out of the closet because often times people who are LGBTQ feel like they are hiding who they truly are. Coming out is when a person acknowledges their identity (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or queer) by sharing it with the people they trust and care about.

A chalk message says Be You in vibrant rainbow colours

Why is it important?

There are lots of reasons why coming out is important both for those coming out and those who are learning of a loved one’s identity. 

There are queer superheroes too! Read about 10 LGBTQ comic book characters and why they're awesome!

Hiding who you truly are can feel like carrying a heavy weight around. Coming out is a way to release that heavy burden. And because there are still people who don't like or accept people who identify as LGBTQ, it takes courage and strength to say, “this is who I am, and I am proud to be me!” 

I love my trans kid sign held at a pride parade
Photo by Ted Eytan licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

Coming out is equally important for friends and family who are learning of their loved one’s identity so they can be there for support.

Do you know what a pink triangle means in the LGBTQ community? Find out!