October 11 marks National Coming Out Day, an annual day of awareness and celebration for the LGBT community – and what it means to open up about sexuality.
Founded in 1988 in the US, the day is now also observed in the UK and Switzerland.
Today many overcame fear to reveal a hidden truth about themselves, while others gave words of inspiration to those that did – here are 12 of the most inspiring and wholesome examples.
1. This girl who came out to her family.
This is the day I finally come out to my family. #NationalComingOutDay— Lindsey Mason (@Lindsmason_) October 11, 2017
2. This guy pointing out coming out doesn’t happen just once.
Happy #NationalComingOutDay!! Whether coming out for the 1st time or coming out w/ each new person getting to know you, it’s a big leap!🏳️🌈— Thomas Sanders (@ThomasSanders) October 11, 2017
3. And this girl who agreed.
I came out at 19. Then again at 21, 23, 25 etc. Coming out is rarely a singular event. All the days are alive. #NationalComingOutDay— Denice Frohman (@denicefrohman) October 11, 2017
4. This mum who didn’t seem surprised.
5. These words of encouragement.
To All The Students Coming Out,
You're far braver than you know and more courageous than you should have to be. #NationalComingOutDay— Nicholas A. Ferroni (@NicholasFerroni) October 11, 2017
6. These awesome housemates.
7. This treasury cat showing his support.
8. This powerful inspiration.
You were NEVER created to feel ashamed, unworthy, condemned or defeated. You were created to feel victorious. #NationalComingOutDay— Daniel Brocklebank (@Dan_Brocklebank) October 11, 2017
9. This touching throwback.
Coming out at 15 was incredibly difficult for me at the time but to live every day free from the lies made it worth it #NationalComingOutDay— Linda Riley (@LindaRiley8) October 11, 2017
10. These words of wisdom.
No one gets to the end of their life and thinks, "I wish I'd stayed in the closet longer." #NationalComingOutDay— Patrick Strudwick (@PatrickStrud) October 11, 2017
11. This talk show host giving her thoughts.
It's #NationalComingOutDay! Come out as gay. Come out as trans. Come out as supporting equality. We need your voices now.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 11, 2017
12. And this creative reminding people to take things at their own pace.
At your pace, on your terms.
Your happiness and safety are paramount.
Sending endless love your way. #NationalComingOutDay— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 11, 2017