Today is National Coming Out Day, an annual observance of LGBT Pride and Coming Out that dates back to the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights held on October 11, 1987. Over 300,000 marched for a set of demands including protection against discrimination. This was just after the 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bowers v. Hardwick that upheld Georgia’s law at the time outlawing sodomy, that is, consensual same-sex relationships between adults.
With same-sex marriage now legal nationwide it’s easy to forget how different things were just a few short decades ago. While 20 states had repealed their sodomy laws in the 1970s, 24 states still criminalized sodomy in 1993, six years after the Hardwick decision.
The difference today — the tremendous progress made since 1987 — is a direct result of local and national activism such as the 1987 March on Washington.
Another powerful force that has been a bedrock of LGBT progress has been the courage act coming out by millions. By becoming visible, LGBT people have made it harder and harder for hatred to flourish. People have come to realize their parents, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, teachers, clergy, neighbors, coworkers and others are LGBT. Homosexuality is no longer “the love that dare not speak its name” as it was described in 1894 by Lord Alfred Douglas.
Last year I marked Coming Out Day with a Guest Author post by Matthew Ryan Thompson. If you missed it, I invite you to read ‘Off My Chest & Into the World.’
This year I offer these videos celebrating Coming Out.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrates the 32nd Annual National Coming Out Day.
Canadian actor Elliot Page, assigned female at birth, came out as a transgender man in December 2020 and later appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. He has a long list of film credits including X-Men: Days of Future Past.
[For more on Elliot Page, see my post To Be Transgender is to Be Human.]
Alexandra Shipp starred in the groundbreaking 2018 LGBT feature film Love, Simon.
Entertainment celebrities, professional athletes and others who came out in 2021.
University of California colleagues discuss coming out.
13-year-old Arwyn Heilrayne describes her coming out in the 7th Grade.
Benton Sorensen comes out as a transgender man for his college assignment to speak on Inspiration.
This video presents stories of coming out as “pansexual,” a new term to some meaning not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.
Happy Coming Out Day!
I’ll close with these two repeats from past posts here and/or my website.
Title image is by Savvapanf Photo/Shutterstock.com
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