Don: Since I always was an outsider, coming out was no big deal. Relax and be yourself. There's no reason to live a lie today.
Jen: I see NCOD as an opportunity for those who are out to celebrate their individual identities and the sense of belonging that comes with being part of the LGBT community. This year especially, it is also a call to action for community members to be proud and visible to serve as a support system for those who are struggling with their identity.
Jeremy: My inner 12-year-old closeted gay kid is extremely proud of this 26-year-old openly gay adult. National Coming Out Day makes me remember how grateful I am to live happily while working at an amazing LGBT publication.
Joe: To me it simply means FREEDOM to not be afraid or ashamed of who I am. Be proud and happy, which is how I live my life.
Kyle: For me, OutFest is an exciting time of year for the community to come together and celebrate ourselves and each other.
Larry: It means that people are making their voices heard and letting the current administration know that they aren’t going to be able to trample on people's rights without opposition.
Mark: A time for the community to come together and unite, and appreciate how far we have come, and have great a street party our community can unite through.
Prab: Incidentally, I came out to my family on NCOD, so it holds a very special place in my life. Here's to all brave individuals contributing to LGBTQ visibility on OutFest this year and beyond!
Sandy: As someone who defends civil and equal rights, I’m especially proud of my LGBT+ loved ones on this day of celebration — because they continue to amaze me with positivity, even in the face of a despotic POTUS.
Scott: It means another day of work, but with several thousand friends.
Sean: In these troubling times, when hatred that used to be ashamed to show its face is public and intolerance is becoming the norm again, National Coming Out Day means now more than ever, we can’t be dragged back into the past — that people cannot be silenced and made to hide in the shadows.
Tim: National Coming Out Day serves as an annual reminder to be true to oneself and to realize that we all share a common humanity.