Poyer: Let’s talk National Coming Out Day

Columnist Sarah Poyer discusses the importance of National Coming Out Day.

Sarah Poyer

Editor’s Note: This piece is a part of the series “Let’s talk.”

Monday, Oct. 11 was National Coming Out Day. This is used as a day of awareness to celebrate those in the LGBTQIA+ community. As I covered in June, we have Pride month to celebrate members of this community, the history of the community and the struggles the community has gone through over time; we have a National Coming Out Day to celebrate one’s own personal journey. 

National Coming Out Day is a day of celebration. We are celebrating all of those who have come out in the community and get to embrace who they are to the fullest extent. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate something worth celebrating, while recognizing all of the hardships that accompany one’s coming out process. 

Coming out is not an easy feat. Fear of rejection or outright discrimination from loved ones is often the biggest barrier. This fear can control one’s right to be themselves, for fear that if they do choose to come out to those they love, they will lose a home or friends and family. 

As it is not something easy to do, coming out is a big feat. We should be celebrating coming out more than just one day a year, to be completely honest with you. But since we have one day a year to do so, we should make a big deal out of celebrating. 

So, this year, encourage your friends and family to be supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community. You never know who could be hiding themselves from you for fear of discrimination. Call out your uncle for using slurs he should not be using. It is 2021 for crying out loud, we should not be calling people slurs. We never should have, but definitely still should not be. Let people know they are in a safe space with you. Celebrate with someone when they chose to come out to you; it is not an easy decision to come to. So when they feel safe to come out to you, it is something to be excited about. 

Now, those who are not out can still celebrate. You do not have to be out to feel loved and accepted on National Coming Out Day. Instead, choose to accept yourself and love yourself despite the hate you have been seeing in our world. Many celebrities have come out in 2021. We should celebrate with them and their journey. Their journey can help to inspire those around us to come out and accept themselves. 

National Coming Out Day is a big day. It should be celebrated, and I am quite glad it is. The LGBTQIA+ community has for far too long been dealing with discrimination and harassment. Instead, we should be celebrating the life and love the community brings to our world.