National Coming Out day
National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed cerebration day for people publically coming out of the closet as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or ally, supporter of LGBT people. In 1988, a psychologist named Robert Eichberg founded NCOD, aiming at raising the public awareness of LGBT community and civil rights movement. October 11th, the date of anniversary of the 1987 national march on Washington for lesbian and gay rights, was selected for NOCD.
Especially in the U.S, associated with Human Rights Campaign, NCOD is greatly cerebrated every year. Activities include information tabling, open-air speeches, and parades.
Since the media push in 1990, all 50 states and other countries have participated in NCOD. Oct 11 2013, last year was its 25th anniversary and here is the link for the memorial video clip.
San Francisco State University (Pride at SF state) :
National Coming Out Day – Wednesday, October 9th
What: Coming Out Community Celebration Location: Malcolm X Plaza Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Below is the script from Ellen hosted by Ellen DeGrenedes who came out as lesbian in 1997.
“Today is a very special day. It’s National Coming Out Day and I have a very big announcement. Brace yourself. Actually, maybe you should sit down. I’ll wait. Okay, ready? I’m gay!
Whew! I feel a lot better. Finally, things are out in the open. I know what you’re thinking: Does Portia know? She does. I told her this morning.
All kidding aside, National Coming Out Day is an important day for a lot of people. It’s important for the people coming out, but it’s also important to the people they come out to. Maybe they didn’t know any gay people before. Now it will be a lot easier for them to realize that gay and straight people all want the same thing: Another season of “Law and Order.”
Coming out was the scariest thing I ever did. But after I did it, I felt so much better. Because no matter how scary, nothing feels better than being true to who you are.
So come on out! If you’re gay, tell someone. Even if you’ve told a lot of people and you think everyone already knows, you can find someone who doesn’t (you’d be amazed how many people don’t read Time magazine).
And if someone comes out to you, show them your support and be happy! It probably means they think you’re an awesome person.”
What I felt impressive when I was searching for the information about NCOD is that the day is also encouraging straight allies to stand up and speak out for LGBT people. I never knew that there is a certain word for people want to support protecting civil rights of sexual minorities. Although having a transsexual boy as one of my best friends, all I tried to do was to get to know what it means to be transgender in today’s world. Looking through the guideline of “coming out as Alley” made me realize the importance of proper way of supporting them.
Guide of Coming out as “Alley”:
Facebook page for national coming out day campaign and information:
When this was first presented in class, I immediately thought about the ways that “coming out” is strictly a white-American cultural norm; which was reassuring learning that this is a national celebration that hasn’t used its Western powers to enforce in other nation-states. My second thought was that regardless of the historical movers and shakers of this event, it seems to be wholly represented by affluent White gays and lesbians. This is problematic for two reasons; one, LGBT organizations have a tendency of leaving out the “T” in their organizing and political agendas. Dean Spade described the ways that the LGBT movement in the United States has taken quite a conservative turn that focuses on issues of marriage equality and military inclusion. This conservative turn, two: also tends to homogenize all members in this movement and the various communities as white, middle class, and strictly L or G. This political agenda, much like the celebration of “coming out”, reflects the ideology that recognition is the way to liberation.
However, this can be further complicated due to what is being recognized. In this case, it is just a surface understanding of their sexual interests or gender identities, but not the recognition of how these identities and practices have created multiple layers of struggles in their lives; nor does it recognize an individual’s intersecting identities. Also, this “coming out” as an empowering tool, ignore the violence of being “outed”; that there are very violent repercussions of identifying under non-normative identities. What does this National Coming Out Day plan to do about institutional and interpersonal violence against LGBT individuals and groups?
“Coming out” or forcing recognition can be a very empowering tool, if it is coupled with a radical political agenda. For instance, the DREAMers chant the radical phrase “undocumented and unafraid”, outing themselves as undocumented citizens in the United States. Yet, the DREAMers are not just about being recognized as undocumented citizens and leaving it to the public to accept who they are. Instead, they are on the forefront of the immigration reform; challenging oppressive ideologies around citizenship, families, basic human rights, and LGBT issues. The DREAMers provide a good example of how to expand from single-identity politics.
I really enjoyed your presentation on national coming out day it really made me happy knowing that people are willing to open up their minds to many different kinds of sexuality. Everyone should be able to love who they want to and really get to be themselves. The fact that people put restrictions and laws against the LBGT community is just outrageous. People should be able to live their lives the way they want and get to marry or be with anyone they want. The video with Ellen really made me laugh she is so open about her sexuality and does not let people bring her down. She is such a vibrant light and she is such a role model for so many people. In all honestly who cares if she is gay her personality alone is the reason people should talk about her not who she is attracted to. The media is so quick to judge and so nosy about people’s sexual orientation and in all honesty it is none of their business. Who you love is your business and no one else’s if you want others to know that’s your choice not the Medias. To me the national coming out day is a symbol that people can be who they want to be and not be afraid any longer. Be proud and stand tall about who you are because if you can’t love and accept yourself how can you expect others to. Overall the presentation was awesome and the video made me really enjoy people being themselves. Everyone should have the freedom to stand up for themselves and national coming out day really embraces many of the topics we have gone over in class and has really finalized a lot of thoughts I had about the LBQT community. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.