National Coming Out Week is an annual event in October. The idea for National Coming Out Day was born on October 11, 1987, when 600,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, friends, family and allies had traveled from all over the United States to march on Washington, D.C. for civil rights. As the crowd gathered on the Mall after the march, one of the organizers addressing the crowd asked us all to look around and realize that by coming out of our closets and into the streets we had shown Washington and the world that our community is made up of real people who are the neighbors and co-workers, friends and family members of every American.
Our Caucus plans to be visible during this week in the Fall of 2014 with intentions of educating the campus community by celebrating the richness that LGBT people bring to their communities and to the world. Join us!
The History of Coming Out
In the Beginning, There Was a March
On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.
To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly.