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Stephen F. Austin State University

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day is celebrated annually on October 11. The first observation was in 1988 and by 1990 it was celebrated in all 50 states.

National Coming Out Day was inspired by a single march. 500,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 11, 1987, generating momentum to last for 4 months after the march had ended. During this period, over a hundred LGBTQ+ identifying individuals gathered outside Washington, DC, and decided on creating a national day to celebrate coming out - this began on the 1st anniversary of their historic march.

Rob Eichberg and Jean O'Leary first proposed the idea of National Coming Out Day. Eichberg founded a person growth workshop, The Experience, and at the time, O'Leary was the head of National Gay Rights Advocates. Eichberg, who would later die in 1995 of complications from AIDS, had said the strongest tool in the human rights movement was to illustrate that most people already know and respect someone in the LGBTQ+ community, and NCOD helps these people come to light.

Here at Stephen F. Austin State University, the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts the annual National Coming Out Day Celebration. In an effort to enlighten the students, staff and faculty across campus about the coming out process, the OMA partners with members of the LGBTQ+ community and various on-campus student organizations to put on a wonderful event.

National Coming Out Day