Members of the LGBTQ community have been sharing their stories for Coming Out Day, an annual celebration held on October 11 to celebrate opening up about sexual orientation.
The celebration was created by activists in the US the year after the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and those celebrating hope it will encourage others to be open about their sexual orientation.
Kodi Gaddis, 31, identifies as gay and was among those sharing thoughts on Twitter under the hashtag #ComingOutDay, describing coming out five years ago after both his biological mother and adoptive mother passed away.
I came out almost 5 years ago after my biological mother & adopted mother passed away – I wish they knew the real me!
I’m so thankful for the twitter community who’ve became family & love me.
To all those out there yet, I am here for you & will listen.
— Kodi Gaddis (@KodiGaddis) October 11, 2019
“I think Coming Out Day helps bring those who are in situations where they are unsafe, scared, confused, or whatever their situations are, together with those who are already ‘out’ in the LGBTQ+ community,” he told the PA news agency.
“Being able to be part of a community that supports one another is all I was missing in my life.
“Today is a day that people can come out and find people that will support them and love them for who they are.”
Bryce Oakley, 32, shared the moment she revealed she is a lesbian at the age of 18 to her mother.
I questioned if I was queer from a very young age, but didn’t own it and come out until I was 18. My mom simply asked, “Are you and (1st girlfriend name) more than just friends?” and I broke down sobbing. It was such a relief to stop lying. #NationalComingOutDay #ComingOutDay
— Bryce Oakley (@BryceOakleyy) October 11, 2019
“I was terrified!” she told PA. “I had been dating my girlfriend for about two months, but we were just ‘close friends’ as far as my family knew.
“It went on for what felt like so long that it felt like coming out would reveal all the lies I had told.
“When my mom very kindly asked if we were more than friends, it felt like I finally had permission to talk about it!”
Speaking from the other side of this experience, Diane explained that her daughter came out at the age of 11.
“My advice would be to just listen,” said Diane, who chose to withhold her second name.
“Just hug them and remind them they are loved.
“There’s nothing more important than making sure that no matter what, they love their child.
My daughter told me when she was 11. She said, “Mom, I like girls!” I was a bit surprised, but not upset. I told her great! Girls are great! And when you marry a wife, I get double the grand babies! #ComingOutDay
— Just Diane (@damnmouthylibby) October 11, 2019
“I think Coming Out Day is a great way to let people tell their stories, and hopefully encourage others to be able to do the same.”
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