On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in the United State’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organisations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE.  The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Virginia., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-LGBT actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.

Each year on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly.

This year Stonewall has launched the #WithJak appeal.

Jak Xenon: ‘I realised I was gay when I was 15, and my coming out went badly. I was kicked out and was homeless for four months. I got really depressed because I didn’t want to exist.

Stonewall gave me the hope that things would get better. They gave me the courage to rebuild bridges with my family. They helped me grow the confidence to be a leader and role model. Stonewall saved my life.

For more information about Stonewall’s appeal, please see here.

For the US readership, please see here.