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Inclusive Employers is the UK’s first and leading membership organisation for employers looking to build inclusive workplaces.

What is National Coming Out Day?

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is celebrated on 11th October every year to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people to ‘come out of the closet’.

One of the core beliefs of NCOD is that homophobia and shame thrive in silence, and ‘coming out’ as who you really are is an important act of self-recognition and activism.

When is National Coming Out Day?

National Coming Out Day 2022 is observed on 11th October.

Exploring the original National Coming Out Day logo

Keith Haring designed the first Coming Out Day logo in 1988.   Haring was a gay American artist whose pop art style emerged from the New York City graffiti subculture of the 1980s.

Haring’s work had strong social messages: safe sex, anti-apartheid, and AIDS awareness. He created several works for AIDS activist group Act Up! Haring died in 1990 of AIDS-related complications.

In Haring’s logo, a yellow figure emerges from a closet, surrounded by other vibrant colours in Haring’s signature style. Haring’s art was known for his graphic and bright style, and felt joyous and playful.

The black inside of the closet and the colours on the outside can be seen to represent the feeling of coming out and being able to live life to the fullest.

Why is National Coming Out Day important?

National Coming Out Day is hugely important to many members of the LGBTQ+ community. Coming out is the act of being open about oneself and one’s identity, whether to family, friends, or the entire world.

Coming out can be a wonderful occasion that is met with love and acceptance for many people. For others, however, it can still be a traumatic event that isolates them from family and community.

NCOD encourages us to consider all the facets of coming out, and work to make it so that coming out is a joyous occasion for everyone, worldwide.

Many people no longer see the need to come out; it can simply be a case of correcting assumptions or being openly who you want to be without having to explain. However, not everyone has this luxury.

For some people coming out brings with it real risks: be it estrangement from family, risks of job loss, abuse or even criminal prosecution in some countries. Until nobody needs to come out, or the day when coming out carries no risk to anyone, we celebrate NCOD.

From our expert:

“October 11th marks National Coming out Day, it began in 1988 in America, and is now globally celebrated and recognised. The day marks the importance of people coming out so every workplace, family, and friendship group knew that LGBTQ+ people were part of every corner of society and as a result any fears and stereotypes to be removed.

It’s a day that many people now reflect on their own coming out experiences both positive and negative. Many people on the 11th October acknowledge that there’s no one day a person comes out. This is because heterosexuality is assumed as ‘the norm’ and therefore every time you join a new sports club, start a new job or start chatting to the cashier at the checkout, you have to come out, daily.”

Rosie Clarke, Head of Inclusion and Diversity Services (North)

How to celebrate National Coming Out Day at work

There are numerous ways to highlight National Coming Out Day at work, including:

  • Investigate LGBTQ+ resources to learn more about the community as well as its history.
  • Indicate where to find help in your workplace for anyone struggling with identity or needing a chat.
  • If your workplace does not have a network, try to get one set up so that people can have a support system.
  • If you have a network, ask them for advice, plans and ideas for National Coming Out Day.
  • Consider the LGBTQ+ community and the significant risk of discrimination they face.

If you need any further help or support for National Coming Out Day, get in touch with your account manager. Or, if you’re not yet a member, contact us today to see how we can help.

And from all of us here at Inclusive Employers, have a happy National Coming Out Day!

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