National Coming Out Day
Each year, on October 11th, National Coming Out Day encourages both civil and workplace awareness, recognising and supporting those in the LGBT+ community. It was first celebrated on the one-year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights – a date chosen to honour the bravery of LGBT+ individuals who decide to come out and live openly. Although it started off as an American awareness day, the meaning of National Coming Out Day is still highly relevant to LGBT+ communities across the world today.
The day celebrates individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, or transgender – coming out regarding their sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT+ people and is dedicated to raising awareness of the civil rights of the LGBT+ communities. Through education, support and sharing their stories, it is hoped they may be more able to live openly and safely in society, at school, at work and in all corners of their life.
How to celebrate National Coming Out Day at work
There are numerous ways to highlight National Coming Out Day at work, including:
- Investigate LGBT+ resources to learn more about the community as well as its history;
- Indicate where to find help in your workplace for anyone struggling with identity or needing a chat;
- If your workplace does not have a network, try to get one set up so that people can have a support system;
- If you have a network, ask them for advice, plans and ideas for National Coming Out Day;
- Consider the LGBT+ community and the significant risk of discrimination they face.
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