But now, a quarter of a century later, some people are asking why National Coming Out Day still matters. Jay Brown from the Human Rights Campaign explains why it does. He says: “It’s one of our most powerful and basic tools – coming out. Today, coming out still matters. Every person that speaks up changes more hearts and minds, and creates more advocates for equality. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other. I know they’ve been powerful to me.”
National Coming Out Day can help mobilize groups of people and nations to take a look at their efforts for making the world more LGBTI friendly. It can help show that there’s still long way to go in relation to LGBTI rights. National Coming Out Day is also an intimately personal day for individuals who are thinking about whether or not to take the bold step of coming out, and it’s therefore also a day of action for their families, colleagues and friends to openly show their support.
The choice of coming out is ultimately a personal one, but the implications of this choice can reach far beyond the individual. As Ellen DeGeneres once said: “There have been moments in history when someone had the courage to stand up for what they believe in and that one action changes everything.” Happy National Coming Out Day!