Today is National Coming Out Day. Every October 11, the LGBT+ community observe this day as a day of awareness and pride.
The day was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg and Jean O'Leary. The day was chosen because it celebrated the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
National Coming Out Day is now celebrated worldwide and is a day to recognise that every coming out story is unique to the individual and for many it’s a continuing journey that they take throughout their lives.
In the spirit of National Coming Out Day, some people tell us a little about their coming out story (very hard to fit into a few lines!). Here is what they had to say:
Coming out? I think the first time I heard that phrase was when I watched an East Berlin film on
Channel Four in 1986 which bore that same title.
But coming out in real life, in Ireland, was far more complex.
Upon entering the gay scene, a young man (or woman) was often advised to ‘come out to those
It was political.
And it had to be.
But will they still love you? Well, that was where the fear lay.
And depended on a lot of things.
Your parents life experience. Their own politics. Their socio-economic values. Their childhood.
For those of us who experienced childhood sexual assault and were children of those who had
experienced childhood sexual assault and resulting pregnancy, ‘coming out’ was not an option,
Coming out to me is a modern day luxury, now that sex is not longer associated with pain,
shame, secrecy, and fear.
But coming out was never about sex anyway.
It was about saying ‘here I am’.
It takes time to work that one out.
(used to work in Outhouse)
“My story isn’t so much a coming out story; it’s more like a self acceptance story.
I realised I was queer in my late 20s. I was living in America at the time when I developed feelings for a close female friend. I tried to ignore those feelings because she identified as straight, and I knew that I couldn’t act on those feelings. Due to this I wasn’t able to fully accept that I was queer.
Then Donald Trump got elected, and the next day I was at a ‘Tegan & Sara’ concert surrounded by mostly Queer identifying people. At this concert the room as a whole was mourning the election of someone who would go on to persecute the LGBTQ+ community. Being in a room with those people enabled me to accept that I am queer, and to be proud of it and to live my life fully and freely.”
(used to work in Outhouse, now works for DublinPride)
“Before I came out as a young teenager I was full of insecurities about who I was and if I'd ever truly belong, but thankfully I was lucky enough to have a very supportive family, I found out about BeLonG To online and came to Outhouse in 2003 for my first meeting. Thanks to the lovely staff and volunteers from both Outhouse and BeLonG To I found a wonderful and encouraging community and could finally be myself.
I've never looked back, now that I'm 32 I think of how much my life has been enriched from finding my tribe and embracing who I am. Coming out can be very daunting for many, but if you surround yourself with good people then it can be the best thing that ever happens to you, and for anyone who finds it to be more of a struggle, there are a wide range of supports available out there to help you navigate it all. You are not alone"
At Outhouse, we provide a safe space where people feel comfortable to express their individuality, where LGBT+ people can be themselves on whatever path they are on.
The Human Rights campaign website has a number of online resources for LGBT+ people on this journey. Please visit at https://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/coming-out
Outhouse also guides LGBT+ people to supports and services that are relevant to their needs so please contact us for information and signposting. Outhouse reception staff provide service users with information on all aspects of LGBT+ life and signpost callers to public and social services daily.
Queries include but are not limited to: sexual health, mental health, and wellbeing, counselling, Garda Liaison Officers, legal services. Our information and signposting service are available via:
- Drop-In: Reception, 105 Capel Street Monday to Friday 10 am to 5 pm
- Telephone: 01 873 4999, Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm
- Email: email@example.com
Would you like to share your coming out story with the community? Please send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org