Come out, come out, wherever you are!
Today, on National Coming Out Day, the LGBT community celebrates the single most powerful action you can take to make LGBT equality a reality. And that is to come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Every step forward we've seen in the past several years is directly related to the increased visibility our community has when we proudly step up and out as who we are. People who know someone who is openly gay are more likely to support equal rights for LGBTs.
Coming out inspires friends, family and allies of the LGBT community to stand up for what is right, even in the face of discrimination, bigotry and violence.
And on the most personal level, coming out improves our mental health, self-esteem, success and happiness.
Even if the first step you can take today is to come out to yourself, please know millions support your courage to live life authentically.
One of the most powerful moments I've experienced writing The Randy Report was when a regular reader reached out to me to come out on National Coming Out Day. I was honored that they trusted me to share the beginning of their journey.
Here's hoping a lot of folks begin their own journey today.
Be brave. Be proud. Be you.
Coming out often takes incredible courage. On #NationalComingOutDay, let's honor that courage by showing LGBT Americans we're with them. pic.twitter.com/LBhyK1Ounm— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 11, 2016
When I was young I prayed that I would be like my brother and sisters. When I realized I was "different" from them I thought I would never have the same opportunities to have a family or to be truly happy. I want to thank those before me that gave me the courage to come out and share my life with those I love. We live in a world where you will face diversity but remember you're perfect just the way you are. #nationalcomingoutday🌈
Happy #NationalComingOutDay, everybody! The objective of this day, first and foremost, isn't to force anybody out of the closet. That's something you should do on your own time, when you feel safe, and when you are ready. Instead, today serves as a reminder not to let yourself be bullied into silence. A reminder to each of us to live our truest lives. A life we each define for ourselves, rather than one lived in fear or by other people's expectations. I can honestly say that the best thing I've ever done for myself was taking the time to acknowledge my sexuality and then taking the leap of faith to come out. At some point the pain of holding onto the charade became greater than the fear of letting go and I'm happier than I've ever been because of it. Thankful everybody who came out before me and helped pave that road to make my trip a smooth one, hopefully it will be an even less bumpy ride for everybody in the future! 🏳️🌈👬👭
happy #NationalComingOutDay - your identity is valid, there's no rush to come out, & the LGBTQ+ community is here & ready to accept you 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/xCyedukmkN— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) October 11, 2016