Self-Discovery, Education and Support at Heart of Celebration
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, announced the theme for National Coming Out Day (Monday, October 11) is Coming Out for Equality.The importance of this year’s event will be heightened by the recent news of teen suicides precipitated by anti-LGBT bullying and/or harassment. National Coming Out Day encourages people that are or may be LGBT to live open and honest lives. Similarly, the yearly observance is also an opportunity for all fair-minded Americans, friends and family members to support LGBT people they know.
This year’s National Coming Out Day takes on increased importance after at least eight teenagers have taken their own lives as a result of anti-gay bullying and harassment, including four in one Minnesota school district alone. “The more we as LGBT people tell our stories and engage others, the closer we are to achieving equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “The recent tragedies involving young gay Americans, and those perceived to be gay, increase the urgency for all people of good conscious to Come Out for Equality. Our youth need to have ‘out’ role models and see the visible support of non-gay Americans.”
This year’s campaign engages participants through a new Facebook application that offers users a number of options to show their support for LGBT equality in the days leading up to October 11. Last year’s NCOD campaign on Facebook generated nearly 2.64 million news feed stories in support of equality on October 11. In an effort to involve even more supporters, the 2010 campaign offers multiple actions and opportunities to show support for equality including: adding an NCOD event to a national map, locating and RSVPing to an NCOD event, learning one’s Equality IQ by taking a quiz, taking action on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and more.
With the new Facebook application (http://apps.facebook.com/humanrightscampaign/about.php?rsource=press) users can also show their commitment to Coming Out for Equality by “donating their status” so friends and family can become engaged as well. The application also facilitates spreading the word on Twitter (hash tag #comingout) and via e-mail.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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