11th of October is observed as the National Coming Out Day in the United States of America. 2020 marks the 32nd anniversary of this day.
The US has seen major milestones in the development and welfare of the LGBTQ+ community, like the legalization of same sex marriage by the US Supreme Court in 2015 and the Stonewall riots. Such acts further encourage people to come out and realize that they're not alone in this fight.
It is celebrated on this day to mark the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Why celebrate National Coming Out Day
This day serves as a reminder to everybody to accept who they are and be proud of themselves, irrespective of their sexual orientation.
While the world has seen great progress in the recognition and normalization of the LGBTQ+ community, being able to accept one's true sexual identity and orientation continues to be a struggle for many.
Coming out is not a single event. It involves a great deal of self-acceptance and establishing a level of comfort with one’s true self. It’s a process that usually takes a lifetime for people to achieve.
But now with the rising supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, people find it much easier to admit to themselves and others about their sexual orientations.
HRC on National Coming Out Day
In honor of this day, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrates and acknowledges all those who have come out as LGBTQ+.
LGBTQ+ supporters and the HRC salute those who find the courage to speak up and come out. We recognize the struggle and appreciate those who have fought continuous battles with themselves and their close ones to fully accept who they really are.
HRC’s tribute to National Coming out Day 2020
The struggles to come out during the pandemic
On behalf of the The Trevor Project, Morning Consult conducted a poll emphasizing on the LGBTQ youth, particularly the black and/or the transgender, and how they’ve been negatively impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.
The results stated that COVID-19 has impacted over 40% of LGBTQ youth in their ability to express their LGBTQ identity, and further ⅓ of the total LGBTQ+ youth find it difficult to be themselves at home. Further, 20% of LGBTQ youth reported being harassed or mistreated by police, compared to 14% of the straight/cisgender youth.
These results simply indicate that the stressors in their lives have simply doubled during the pandemic.
The pandemic has caused the LGBTQ+ community to venture out less and meet fewer people of the community which on some level has reduced the number of people coming out. Not being able to spend time with the people of the community has caused many to feel lonely as they’re forced to stay within the same four walls everyday.
However at the same time, many celebrities have mustered up the courage to come out in 2020.
Here’s a list of a few celebrities who came out in 2020:
The famous Rick Cosnett who is known for his roles in Quantico, The Vampire Diaries and Flash, came out as gay this February in an Instagram post.
23 year old actress, known for her role in the the teen series, Riverdale, came out as bisexual in June earlier this year. "Although I’ve never announced it publicly before, I am a proud bisexual woman," she says in her Instagram post.
World famous television host, Philip Schofield, who has been married to his wife since 1993, came out as gay in February this year. He took to instagram and said, “With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.”
Taylor Schilling, who is best known for her role in Orange is The New Black, confirmed her relationship with her girlfriend, Emily Ritz, confirming her sexuality.
Member of the Canadian Women’s National team, publicly came out as a transgender in September in their Instagram post. "Coming out is HARD ( and kinda bs).I know for me it’s something I’ll be doing over again for the rest of my life. As I’ve lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I’d come out publicly." says Quinn.
View this post on Instagram
Coming out is HARD ( and kinda bs). I know for me it’s something I’ll be doing over again for the rest of my life. As I’ve lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I’d come out publicly. Instagram is a weird space. I wanted to encapsulate the feelings I had towards my trans identity in one post but that’s really not why anyone is on here, including myself. So INSTEAD I want to be visible to queer folx who don’t see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago. I want to challenge cis folks ( if you don’t know what cis means, that’s probably you!!!) to be better allies. It’s a process, and i know it won’t be perfect, but if I can encourage you to start then it’s something. 1) put your pronouns in your bio 2) follow/ listen to other trans/nb voices ( @janetmock , @ashleemariepreston , @alokvmenon to name a few :)) 3) practice using gender neutral pronouns with friends/ in a mirror 4) vote 5) start to catch yourself making assumptions about people in public/ bathrooms/ any space
Whether it’s coming out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender, remember to support those who may need a helping hand and raise your voice against the inequalities that the LGBTQ+ community face even today!