October is LGBT history month, and October 11th is National Coming Out Day. In fact, this year is the 30th anniversary celebration of National Coming Out Day.

The intention of National Coming Out Day is to celebrate the power of coming out, as when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law . The stories of coming out can be powerful to those in the process of coming out to family, friends, and colleagues. What’s also important to note is that the day is not intended to pressure anyone to come out before they’re ready. Instead, this day is about celebrating living our lives honestly and authentically.

While coming out can be vulnerable or empowering (or both), for some, it’s not possible to come out. In fact, 38% of Maine’s homeless youth are LGBT (SOURCE:New Beginnings: Serving Runaway and Homeless Youth and their Families since 1980, Maine Homeless Youth Survey, March, 2018). Things like lack of familial support, social stigma, bias, and discrimination can prevent someone from coming out safely.

Coming out is an extremely personal decision that each person should do in their own way that makes them feel safe, supported, and comfortable.

Whether out or not, there is a community that is ready to accept you with open arms. You are seen, valued, and you matter!

Check out some resources here!