So it’s National Coming Out Day and for many this will be an exciting and celebratory day. However, we can’t help but think, despite the leaps and bounds in equality the UK has made such as marriage and adoption, do we still need a day for coming out?
11 Reasons Why we Definitely Still Need N.C.O.D
1. Coming out supports equality in all its forms; it sparks conversation, educates and challenges dated and frankly ignorant perceptions.
2. A coming out story being shared can be incredibly powerful to someone else who is struggling with their own identity and coming out.
3. Students who are lesbian, gay or bi continue to be the most highly bullied demographic with isolation, self-harm and suicide rates far higher than the national average.
4. Very few people regret coming out even if the initial experience isn’t as positive as they’d hoped.
5. Hiding your sexual identity can be far more stressful than being open. Visibility is crucial and powerful; it really can change hearts and minds.
6. Despite marriage equality in some states there is still a very long way to go before the USA achieves full equality for ALL its citizens. Pension laws for those who are lesbian and gay, marriage equality for those who are trans* and equal sex education in schools are just three examples of things that need to be made equal.
7. A united day provides a strong community feel online with an increased amount of support, both from organisations and others going through the same thing being made available.
8. Coming out and REAL visibility contribute to the global picture – it gives a voice to those who are silenced and helps those whose right to be themselves are non-existent all over the world.
9. Coming out gradually reduces ‘casual’ homophobia and transphobia. It empowers those who are scared to simply hold hands in public with their partner.
10. Visibility in turn demands representation. You have a voice – use it
11. Don’t feel under pressure to come out until you’re ready – it might be that the first step is coming out to yourself.
We get it – who you love shouldn’t ever be an issue… but we’re just not quite there yet. Homophobia exists and is still very, very real. Ultimately, we believe that sexuality is on a continuum with people very rarely being 100% anything. We are working towards a culture where we no longer need National Coming Out Day and eventually it won’t even be a thing. Whatever you decide to do, there is support available if you need it.
Have your say
What are your thoughts on National Coming Out Day? Are you planning on Coming Out Soon or unsure about what to do?
The Ditch the Label Mentors have helped tons of people with advice on coming out and loads of other related issues. Not only can you get advice form a DTL mentor, but you can also help others with by sharing your own experiences and in turn gain invaluable insight from other members! Community is a place where you can speak your mind; it’s absolutely free and available to everybody – see you there!