National Coming Out Day is October 11. It is observed, and has been doing so for thirty-two years, to support LGBT people.
Not Everyone Should Come Out On October 11.
While many musicians, artists, actors, have publicly came out this year to encourage others to follow suit, it is not always wise for LGBT persons to be prompted to do so. The non-celebs should come out when it is the right time to do so, when they know they won’t be harmed, and when they feel confident about their sexual orientation.
As a parent, you should not OUT your children without their permission. Whose story is it? Theirs, of course! So, don’t tell your friends or relatives unless you are told to go ahead.
How Many People are LGBT?
The Human Rights Campaign estimates that there are 16 million LGBT people in the United States. Transgenders account for 2 million or 1 in 10. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian.
Tips for Responses to Coming Out from HRC’s ComingOut, pdf. Ally- Resource 2020:
- When told of a sexual orientation, ask respectful questions such as:
- What was it like growing up?
- How did you know you weren’t cisgender?
- When was the right time to come out?
- What has the coming out process been like for you?
- How are you holding up?
- What can I do to support you?
Suggestions for Support:
- Socialize with their LGBT friends.
- Find opportunities to talk openly with straight friends re: LGBTQ friends and family re: issues they face.
- Integrate inclusive language with the right pronouns they prefer.
- Add your pronouns to your signed signature.
- Join pro-LGBTQ causes or groups on Facebook.
- Attend Pride celebrations.
- Put Ally symbols on your car and in your office.
- Watch movies with LGBT topics or character.
- Flatter the LGBT person by saying, for example, “I appreciate your trust. Thank you for being honest,” for example.
Hopefully, with many LGBT voices out of the closet, in the future, equality for the LGBT population will be easier to attain and one’s sexual orientation will not be prone to 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.