National Coming Out Day

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:




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Discussion Questions for the novel Trumpet P152-278

1) The media in today’s world attempt to report the story that people want to hear. The truth is sometimes twisted and forged when they are published, even though its interpretation would not be understood in the way it’s supposed to be. What kind of expectations do you think people have when they listen to a story of a life of a transgender person?


2) In this novel, the author Jackie Kay mentions “African American identity” a lot of times. Not only focuses on transsexaulity, but she also puts emphasis on some characters seeking the answer to a question “who they are” in their roots. What is the importance of examining one’s intersectional identity when we try to understand someone else?


3) Joss’s tight bandage around his breasts symbolized that he had a female body, but he was living his life as a man. Appearance is one of the most decisive factors of defining one’s gender. Consider how this cultural value of appearance has been affecting our society. Also, shaving and going to a barbershop are referred as the signs of masculinity. Do you think taking these masculine/feminine actions into the real life would help transsexual people feel more natural or close to their real selves?


In the article “I Know What I Am”, the author, David Valentine, explains us his fieldworks and researches at the meat market in New York City. I thought the key concept of this article is “Sex Workers”. In the dialogues with Valentine, sex works gives us the idea of how they identify themselves, how they find who they are. This is very important because we are living in a world of category, where everyone tries to find a certain group, place, or space, seeking to belong to somewhere to understand who they are, and how they are supposed to live.

I’d never imagined transsexual people working as prostitutes before. I used to have this stereotyped thoughts on prostitution, that only young girls with certain problems such as being sold by their family, kidnapped, are forced to work and earn money by selling their bodies. Their cases are not really the same. Basically, sex workers that Valentine meets in his fieldworks were born to have a male body. But they identify themselves in many different ways. Aside from the fact that prostitution is a sever problem overall, it is not only the matter of girls with unfortunate environment, but includes more complex issues such as sense of belonging and self-identification. Anita, one of the sex workers at the meat market, identifies herself as a drag queen, says that she lives her life as a woman. However, when valentine asked her if she is a transgender, she answers “No”, saying that she recognizes herself as a man, and gay as well. Even though she treats herself as a woman, acts like a woman, and behaves like a woman, she doesn’t take the word “transgender” as her identification. My understanding of “transgender” is to indicate people whose body doesn’t match with the gender they identify. So it was sort of confusing for me. She lives her life as the opposite gender from her body, but at the same she identifies herself as the matched gender with her body. It gives me a question whether I should use she or he for her gender pronoun. Even Valentine gets confused with the responses come up from sex workers during the interview. Mona, who explains herself as a butch queen, lives her life as a woman. However she states what it means to be gay through her own perspective of living as gay. She says “It’s not just only having feelings for someone of the same gender but also being turned on by the same gender.” In this answer, it is obvious that she takes herself as a man. Valentine notes that she is exactly a woman, exactly transgender, and exactly gay. Technically she is living three different lives. Sometimes she is just a woman, but sometimes she is gay and transgender and identifies herself as a butch queen. In short, she has several identifications at the same time. There are couple more transsexual sex workers that Valentine had interviewed, and the answers were all complicated and hard to figure out. But the point is, they know who they are. Words are not enough to explain their complicated, delicate identity. Words can’t hold all the meanings of their lives, which they are living as they are. For them, how society identifies them doesn’t really matter. They know who they are and that’s what they need in terms of self-identification.

When we see someone, we automatically judge him or her by nationality looks, behaving, the way of speaking, dressing, and so on. We categorize others and try to understand their general information. This article on the other hand, made me realize that there are people who don’t belong to the normal categories provided by the society, but are trying to find out where they belong by their own way. Sometimes they belong to “not belonging”. Those sex workers in the meat market know what they are, and understand their own self-identification.

Introduction ;))

Hello my name is Miyuki. I am an international exchange student from Tokyo Japan. As I said in the first class, one of my best friends is a transgender boy. We’ve been friends for over 10 years. When he confessed that his body doesn’t match with the gender he identifies, everyone, even his parents left him and I was the only one stayed with him. I promised him to learn as many things as possible during this study abroad, and help him to have a happy life just like others do when I go back. In Japan, people tend to avoid discussions about the issues that trans people have. So I am afraid to say this but I don’t have enough knowledge about transgender identity, due to the fact that I could not have any opportunity to study about this topic. But I am always trying my best as an active listener. I’d very much appreciate your understanding.