Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out day, celebrated by thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. They hold workshops, speak-outs, rallies and other kinds of events all aimed at showing the public that LGBT people are everywhere.
This year’s focus is on marriage equality. Only five states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and D.C. For more information, see the Human Rights Campaign’s Marriage & Relationship Recognition page.
Not many people know that National Coming Out day originated on the date of the first display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt — October 11th, 1987. The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was also happening on that day, purposely coinciding with the display of the Quilt on the National Mall in Washington.
While HIV and AIDS affect people of all ages, races, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status, prevalence is still disproportionately high among gay men. On National Coming Out day, let’s reflect upon the history of HIV/AIDS in the United States, and have the courage to discuss sexuality and sexual health freely and openly.
For more history on National Coming Out day, visit the Human Rights Campaign website.