“Thirty-three years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out,” writes the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on their resource page for National Coming Out Day, which is celebrated annually on October 11. “HRC celebrates all who have come out as LGBTQ+ — that takes bravery, and we commend you.”
It’s also a day to acknowledge those who don’t feel safe coming out, as Jessa Powers reminded readers of The Advocate in 2018. “Dear Closeted Reader,” begins Powers in the commentary “To Everyone Who Has to Stay Closeted on National Coming Out Day.”
“I'm sorry that you have to watch people's videos, posts, and announcements from the closet today,” writes Powers, who came out in 2014. “For some people, coming out can literally be a matter of life and death; it could also mean the loss of housing, family, and financial security.”
Let’s also remember those who came out to a loving community yet were still met with violence. According to the HRC, at least 38 trans or gender non-conforming people have been killed in 2021 so far, the majority of whom are Black or Latinx. “These victims, like all of us, are loving partners, parents, family members, friends and community members. They worked, went to school and attended houses of worship. They were real people — people who did not deserve to have their lives taken from them,” writes HRC.
Hello Barkada would like to hold space for the range of truths lived today and everyday for LGBTQIA2S+ family, friends, neighbors, and community by offering the following three book recommendations. While each work of art reflects and centers a spectrum of experiences, together they remind readers that the power of coming out and being out is bolstered when met with love.