National Coming Out Day 2018
By Johnny Chagnon
Today marks the 30th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, which celebrates the power of being able to openly and boldly proclaim our identity as an LGBTQ+ individual. For many of us, being able to comfortably live with the freedom to be and love ourselves for who we are is a vital step in becoming whole and healthy. Since the first NCOD in 1988, we have seen significant changes in the atmosphere surrounding individuality and some subcultures, which allows most of us a much easier path to follow once we come out.
While it is important to celebrate the successes we have accomplished in 30 years, it is equally important to acknowledge the disparities that still affect us. Privilege exists sparingly within the LGBTQ+ community, and issues that affect the general population such as racism, transphobia, bisexual erasure, HIV stigma, misogyny and more absolutely infiltrate every corner of our own community. If we are to be a family of LGBTQ+ people, we only succeed in getting better if we all advance together.
Stand up and proudly proclaim who you are. Take that first step to explore your feelings and your options. Reach out and find people you can relate to and may find support in. Step away from toxic people in your life and lean on those who lift you up. If you see someone who needs support, approach them and offer a hand. Educate yourself on issues that affect not only your own self, but those around us.
What will you do this “Coming Out” Day?