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National Coming Out Day: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Acceptance

National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 serves as a platform for LGBTQ+ individuals to share their stories and resources.

National Coming Out Day, which takes place on October 11th, is an important day for LGBTQ+ individuals in Greater Cincinnati and across the country. This year, it comes at a time when there is a surge in legislation that is seen as anti-LGBTQ+ and an increase in threats and attacks against the community.

The day serves as a platform for open discussions about the journey of self-discovery and acceptance that LGBTQ+ individuals go through. It is also an opportunity to share resources for those who may still be early in their own journeys.

Kelsey, who goes by @midwesternlesbian on social media, emphasizes the significance of this day. She believes it is crucial for LGBTQ+ individuals to be able to proudly say, "This is me, this is who I am." Kelsey herself came out on National Coming Out Day in 2014.

The origins of National Coming Out Day can be traced back to October 11th, 1988, which marked the one-year anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The day was organized by Jean O'Leary, Dr. Robert Eichberg, and the National Coming Out Day organization. In 1993, the organization merged with the Human Rights Campaign Fund to become the Human Rights Campaign as we know it today.

Every coming out story is unique and deeply personal. Jaasiel Chapman, for example, shares his experience of contemplating suicide before deciding to come out. He reached out to one of his cousins, fearing rejection, but thankfully, he was met with acceptance. Jaasiel acknowledges that he is fortunate to be sitting here today, sharing his story.

On the other hand, Britton Spitler did not have a defined coming out moment. As a ballet dancer with a higher voice, he faced ridicule and was labeled as the "token gay guy" in his rural high school. Despite not having a specific coming out experience, Britton recognizes that coming out is a personal choice and a liberating one.

While the stories and reactions of LGBTQ+ individuals may vary, Kelsey, Jaasiel, and Britton all agree that coming out is an individual journey and a freeing experience.

For those seeking resources and support on National Coming Out Day, there are various options available. The Coming Out Support Hotline is a valuable resource, providing assistance not just on this day but every day. Additionally, The Trevor Project offers an online Coming Out Handbook, which addresses common questions and provides helpful resources.

National Coming Out Day serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength of the LGBTQ+ community. It is a day to celebrate individuality, acceptance, and the power of sharing one's truth.

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