National Coming Out Day was created in 1988 to commemorate the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, which reportedly drew over 200,000 protesters to the nation’s capital that Oct. 11. Over three decades later, the day has turned into an annual celebration to acknowledge LGBTQ people and to raise awareness for their ongoing fight for equality.
National Coming Out Day continues to raise awareness for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, and champion the idea that homophobia thrives in silence. On this day, many people who identify as LGBTQ+ will “come out” (a term stemming from the phrase “come out of the closet”) to friends or family about their sexuality, which is a very big moment! Beyond this, the history of the LGBTQ+ movement is a beacon of light — its champions are honored, and it underlines the personal being political.
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.
Hebron Academy would like to thank and acknowledge several faculty members who shared their ‘coming out’ stories with the community during Morning Meeting this week. It was a powerful reminder that courage comes in many forms, and that it is our community’s ability to embrace diversity that makes Hebron Academy so unique and special. Thank you to Erin Leist, Ashley Paulson, Richard McArthur, and Allen Babcock for sharing their stories.