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Every year on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally. On Oct. 11, 2016, we marked the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. 

28 years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10.

Coming out - whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied - STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other.

In honor of National Coming Out Day, HRC honors all who have come out as LGBTQ or as a straight ally for equality – that takes bravery, and we commend you.

Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, and creates new advocates for equality.

Watch HRC's National Coming Out Day 2016 video:

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