National Coming Out Day

October 11 is recognized as National Coming Out Day, the day celebrating coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This year marked the 31st anniversary of the Human Rights Campaign’s first observation of the holiday. 

When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. In honor of National Coming Out Day, HRC celebrates all who have come out as LGBTQ – that takes bravery, and we commend you. Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds and creates new advocates for equality,” the Human Rights Campaign said regarding the day. 

Of a survey taken of 10,000 LGBTQ+ youth ages 13 to 17, 91% are out to their close friends, around 61% are out at school and about 56% are out to their immediate family. About 17% of out-youth say they are harassed at school frequently and 10% say they are harassed outside of school as well. 31% of the youth surveyed said they haven’t come out at school yet because they are worried they will be judged or treated differently. Of the youth surveyed, 16% reside in the East North Central region, which contains Indiana and of these youth, 62% reported being out to family. Of the youth who reported not being out to family, 19% are scared of the reaction, 30% report unaccepting family members, 10% report they aren’t ready, 10% don’t talk to family, and 16% reported religious conflict. 

The majority of that hesitance is caused by homophobia and unacceptance. Some homophobia is subtle in the fact that the person is generally alright with the “lifestyle” but would object to their child being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. All homophobia hurts, no matter the severity, but as more and more youth start to come out, being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is becoming less stigmatized. 

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