San Francisco, CA - California 94114
Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender—coming out regarding one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people. The day is observed annually by members of the LGBT community and allies on October 11.
National Coming Out Day is observed in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign sponsors NCOD events under the auspices of their National Coming Out Project, offering resources to LGBT individuals, couples, parents and children, as well as straight friends and relatives, to promote awareness of LGBT families living honest and open lives.
On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.
To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly. Read more.
A sacrament is an act that mediates the grace and mystery of God.
Coming out is a sacrament for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) people of faith because it sets us on a lifelong path of manifesting God’s grace in our lives. Coming out is crucial to our spiritual development because it starts us on a journey of integrating our GLBT identity into our whole life. Or to say it another way: embracing our GLBT identity is an invitation to go deeper in our spiritual journey.
Gay Christian author and activist Chris Glaser believes that sexual minorities, often denied their churches’ traditional sacraments, have found unique access to the sacred in their lives: coming out of the closet. Glaser persuasively argues that coming out–as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered–has biblical precedence and sacramental dimensions. Using personal and biblical illustrations, he discusses coming out as an act of vulnerability, much like a sacrificial offering of ancient times, that invokes God’s presence and effects atonement, or reconciliation. In this engaging book he shows how coming out, like other sacraments, may serve as a means of grace–that is, an experience of God’s unconditional love.
Relates a coming out experience in Argentina. Responses to a pastoral letter sent by the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops to the parents of gay children after being published in Argentina in January 1999; Action taken by former Argentinean President Carlos Memem in response to the decision of the Argentine Supreme Court to upheld an appellate court decision denying legal status to the Community of Argentine Homosexuals; Way of receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.
National Gay Lesbian Taskforce
“Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you … saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’” Isaiah 49:8-9. (NRSV)