National Coming Out Day

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National Coming Out Day
Logo ncod lg.png
NCOD logo designed by Keith Haring
Observed by LGBTQ+ community
Type National, International
Observances Coming out
Date October 11
Next time 11 October 2015 (2015-10-11)
Frequency annual
Related to 1987 March on Washington

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual civil awareness day internationally observed on October 11 to recognize members of the LGBTQ+ community.[1] The process of coming out involves self-disclosure of one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity.


NCOD was founded in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O'Leary, an openly gay political leader from Los Angeles and then head of the National Gay Rights Advocates.[2][3] The date of October 11 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[1]

Initially administered from the West Hollywood offices of the National Gay Rights Advocates, eighteen states participated in the first NCOD, garnering national media coverage. In its second year NCOD headquarters moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and participation grew to 21 states. After a media push in 1990 NCOD was observed in all 50 states and seven other countries. Participation continued to grow and in 1990 NCOD merged their efforts with the Human Rights Campaign.[1]


National Coming Out Day is observed annually to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and civil rights movement. The holiday is observed in a wide variety of ways: from rallies and parades to information tables in public spaces. Participants often wear pride symbols such as pink triangles and rainbow flags.

National Coming Out Day is observed in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.[citation needed] In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign sponsors NCOD events under the auspices of their National Coming Out Project, offering resources to LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, parents and children, as well as straight friends and relatives, to promote awareness of LGBTQ+ families living honest and open lives. Candace Gingrich became the spokesperson for NCOD in April 1995.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "History of Coming Out & Themes of NCOD". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Robert Eichberg, 50, Gay Rights Leader". New York Times. August 15, 1995. 
  3. ^ "Robert Eichberg, Gay Advocate". The Seattle Times. August 14, 1995. 

External links[edit]