After years of debate, the military repealed “don’t ask don’t tell” last month, meaning it can no longer prevent gays from serving openly in its ranks. In June, the state of New York legalized gay marriage. Many people are now using social media to come out of the closet in a very public way.
Last year on National Coming Out Day, one man had the courage to come out on YouTube in this incredible video:
The man promised to come back with a follow up video this year, but it has not yet been posted.
On the day “don’t ask don’t tell” was repealed, a U.S. soldier stationed in Germany also came out on YouTube, telling his dad in Alabama over the phone that he was gay:
National Coming Out Day’s date has its roots in the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, held 14 years ago. The rally was called on Oct. 11, 1987, in response to the lack of government attention to the spreading AIDS crisis, and to the 1986 Supreme Court ruling Bowers v. Hardwick that upheld the criminalization of sodomy between two consenting men. (That ruling was reversed in 2003.) The march became so big it was later referring to in history as “The Great March.”
By 1998, Oct. 11 had been dubbed National Coming Out Day, in the hopes that the LGBT community would come together every year to fight for equality on that day.
This year, many people showed their support for the day by using the hashtag #CountMeOut, or #Out or #NationalComingOutDay, declaring themselves out of the closet or in support of others who had decided to do so.
Tyler Oakley, a gay blogger with a giant YouTube following tweeted Tuesday: