Today is the 31st annual National Coming Out Day, a time to celebrate the importance of visibility and the progress made towards members of the LGBTQ community feeling safer living as their authentic selves. Here at Reasons, we want to encourage folks to also take time to reflect on some of the significance of observing and highlighting this occasion. Histories of discrimination and marginalization are significant risk factors for the development of eating disorders, and these experiences also create barriers to care for those who are struggling.
Celebrate the Process of Coming Out
Celebrating the process of coming out and banding together to show support and solidarity to those who have recently come out or are considering doing so is a compassionate, affirming, and meaningful way to create connection. “Coming out of the closet” implies leaving darkness and isolation and stepping into the light and the community. It is an explicit welcome to those who are testing out the idea of coming out in some way, shape or form. In celebrating, we are living for today.
Recall and Pay Tribute
National Coming Out Day also allows us to recall and pay tribute to the courage of the activists of years past who stood up to a society that shunned them, and demanded they be recognized for their true selves. Many of these courageous individuals lost friends, family, jobs, homes, and at times, their lives, so that others might have a better chance to live openly in the world. Remembering those that came before us can help put into perspective how momentous it is to be able to publicly commemorate a day like today.
We Are With You
Perhaps, today, let someone in your life know that you are a safe person to come out to. Maybe take the time to acknowledge that a friend who has been out and proud for years has a story about how that came to be. Some may choose to share their own experiences of coming out with others today and others may acknowledge it more privately or share it in their own time. Coming out is an intensely personal decision and we honor all of the ways that anyone might choose to do it. However you choose to commemorate this day, we at Reasons are with you.
Blog Contributed by Fiona LaRosa-Waters, Reasons Director of Business Development.
Fiona LaRosa-Waters is an experienced behavioral health marketing professional and community relations specialist. She is passionate about helping people locate resources to support treatment and recovery, advancing education about eating disorders and addiction, and connecting with the mental health community.