What Is National Coming Out Day?
Observed annually, this internationally observed day celebrates coming out and raises awareness of the LGBT+ community and civil rights movement. As part of LGBT history month, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) celebrates individuals who publicly identify as a gender or sexual minority. October 11this the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
How Is The Holiday Observed?
Many people celebrate the holiday by staging rallies, parades, setting up LGBT information tables. You will see participants wearing pride symbols such as pink triangles and rainbow flags.
What If Your Child Decides to Come Out On October 11?
What Do You Say?
· Thank you for sharing your story with me. It must have been hard for you to tell me. Give him/her a hug. (shows pride and encourages further dialogue).
· I love you and always will. (Kids want unconditional love and acceptance. So often, they are told it’s not o.k.)
· How long have you known? (shows interest in their journey).
· Would you like me to discuss with others? If so, whom? Have you told your sister, brother, friends at school? (shows respect for privacy – it’s his or her story).
· Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Are they out? I’d like to meet them. (shows interest in whom is important in their life and acceptance of their love interests).
· How do you feel about being gay? Are you accepted at school? (opens up conversation about possible self-hatred or harassment from others).
· Do you have support groups for your orientation? Gay-Straight Alliance, chat rooms on-line, etc (Besides your support, your child will obtain further help from LGBT community, particularly from his/her own group).
· I intend to find out more about gay issues now that I know you’re gay. I hope you will educate me as well (shows open mind and ability to have your child take the lead- this is one area where the child knows more than the parent, usually!
· I’m proud that you have the presence at your age to come out. It shows confidence, honesty, and self-awareness. (end on a positive note that encourages ongoing discussion).
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.