Friday, October 11, 2013

Repost: LGBT History Month: National Coming Out Day*

*originally posted October 11, 2009

We all have our times that we choose to "come out;" to tell our friends and family, so-workers and bosses that we're gay. We all have the right to do it in our own time and in our own way.
But, to make things a bit easier, and maybe to make you feel a little less alone, we have National Coming Out Day.

And it's today!

National Coming Out Day is an internationally-observed civil awareness day for coming out and openly discussing LGBT issues.

The founders of National Coming Out Day, Rob Eichberg, Ph.D. and Jean O'Leary, believe that we should all use this day to begin living our lives openly and powerfully; to be who we are; to show the world we matter, that we count.

Eichberg and O'Leary, acting on behalf of their organizations, The Experience and National Gay Rights Advocates, founded the day in 1988 to celebrate the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights which had occurred the year before; over half-a-million gays and lesbians had marched that day for equality, something we are still fighting for some twenty-five years later.

And we could use everyone's help. If you're gay, and good for you, by the way, and still in the closet, why not open that door a smidge and let some light in. Tell one friend; tell someone in your family; tell a co-worker. Tell someone. It really will be okay.

I won't lie to you and say everyone will celebrate your newfound openness with cheers and parades, though wouldn't that be nice, but you will find that most people already knew, or suspected; you will find that most people love you anyway.

You will find that it's okay.

Hell, it's downright fabulous.

National Coming Out Day. Tell a friend.

On This Day In LGBT History
October 11, 1884 – Eleanor Roosevelt is born in New York City. She was the wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, and while he had his lady friends, Eleanor had hers. In her case, one special lady friend: Lorena Hickok. “Hick darling,” Eleanor wrote, “Oh I want to put my arms around you…I want to hold you close.”

October 11, 1979 – Toronto Police raid gay bathhouse, the Hot Tub Club, and charge forty men with bawdyhouse charges.

October 11, 1987 – The Baltimore Gay and Lesbian Community Center refused to provide meeting space to NAMBLA after the local gay and lesbian community responded to the request with outrage. They had considered the request despite their opposition to NAMBLA’s views but felt the tremendous negative reaction of the community indicated that it would interfere with BGLCC’s own mission.

October 11, 1987 – The second march on Washington drew 1/2 million people. The NAMES project AIDS quilt was displayed with 1,920 panels. Rev Jesse Jackson addressed the crowd, calling for AIDS funding, civil rights protection, and an end to anti-gay violence.

October 11, 1988 – The first National Coming Out Day was celebrated.

October 11, 1993 – After learning they did not have the authority to carry out their threat, Fairfax County Virginia supervisors voted to withdraw a threat to abolish the library board for refusing to ban the distribution of gay and lesbian books and magazines.

October 11, 1993 – The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a former CIA employee who was fired for acknowledging he was gay.

October 11, 1999 – After receiving an angry letter from GLAAD, World Champion Wrestling discontinued the “Lenny” and “Lodi” characters whose arena entrance routinely sparked chants of “fag.”

October 11, 1999 – Rev. Jerry Falwell and other religious conservatives held an event in San Francisco to encourage gay men and lesbians to leave the homosexual lifestyle.

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