National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day

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Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 12:50PM EDT by Matt.

Added Oct 11, 2018 at 12:26PM EDT by Matt.

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National Coming Out Day is a day of recognition, awareness and celebration of the act of publicly and privately coming out as member of the LBTGQ+ community. As a means of activism and advocacy, the holiday also serves to fight homophobia, transphobia and other social stigmas associated with the LGBTQ+ community.


On October 11th, 1987, the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was held.[1] More than half a million people participated in the rally.[3]

One year later, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the March, Dr. Robert H. Eichberg and Jean O'Leary founded the first National Coming Out Day in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.[2]


The first National Coming Out Day saw participation from 18 states. By 1990, there were observances and participants in all 50 states within the United States. The following year, NCOD started a collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign.


From 1999 to 2014, National Coming Out Day announced themes for the holiday and celebration (shown below).

  • 2014 – Coming Out Still Matters
  • 2013 – Coming Out Still Matters
  • 2012 – Come Out. Vote.
  • 2011 – Coming Out for Equality
  • 2010 – Coming Out for Equality
  • 2009 – Conversations from the Heart
  • 2007 – Talk About It
  • 2006 – Talk About It
  • 2005 – Talk About It
  • 2004 – Come Out. Speak Out. Vote.
  • 2003 – It’s a Family Affair
  • 2002 – Being Out Rocks!
  • 2001- An Out Odyssey
  • 2000 – Think it O-o-ver (Who Will Pick the New Supremes?)
  • 1999 – Come Out to Congress

Online Presence

Those promoting the holiday on social media typically do so using the hashtag "#NCOD" and "#NationalComingOutDay."[4] Throughout the day, people share stories and statements of support for the LGBTQ+ community (example below).

Jessie Paegeo @jessiepaege It's #NationalComingOutDay A little over 3 months ago, I came out online and do others in real life. I was told it was a BAD idea. I lost followers that had been with me since Day 1. But, I'm proud. If you don't accept my sexuality, you don't accept me. Be proud. Love tyler oakley @tyleroakley coming out is great, but do it on YOUR terms. #NationalComingOutDay is meant to encourage discussion & set a tone of acceptance, not put pressure on those not ready. <3 NY AG Underwood @NewYorkStateAG Whether you're out or not, please know this: You are brave. You are loved. You are worthy. And you have an advocate and ally in me. #NationalComingOutDay
Facebook Major Life Event

On October 10th, 2018, NBC[5] reported that the social media website Facebook had updated their Major Life Event feature, allowing people to choose "Came Out" as a major life event. Tudor Havriliuc, a vice president at Facebook, said, " For the LGBTQ community, Facebook is a way for you to come out, celebrate your pride and find support.Visibility is so important because it changes hearts and minds about being LGBTQ when friends and family see us living our true lives."

2:04 PM Like comment Share Will Rainsford Just now : Came Out October 11, 2018 Happy National Coming Out Day! Jordan Whiting and 42 others 2 Comments Like Comment Share

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