October 11, 2004
HRC Celebrates 16th National Coming Out Day: ‘Come Out. Speak Out. Vote.’
Project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Calls on Friends and Family to Vote for Fairness
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation was joined by millions of Americans today across the country in celebrating the 16th annual National Coming Out Day.
"Come Out. Speak Out. Vote." is the theme for this year's National Coming Out Day - encouraging gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans to talk to their families and friends about their lives.
"Our allies are critical to winning equality," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "As politicians try to use gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues as a wedge, we must be sure to get our friends and families involved in the fight for equal rights."
In December 2003, the HRC Foundation conducted a public opinion poll of GLBT people that found while 77 percent of respondents consider themselves "out" as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, only 32 percent talk to their parents about public policy issues, and only 46 percent talk to their brothers and sisters about such topics. In contrast, respondents were much more likely to speak frankly on these topics with casual acquaintances (57 percent) or co-workers (54 percent).
"It's critical that every American who cares about equality vote this year," added Jacques. "This is the election of our lives and we need the support of every friend, family member and loved one."
National Coming Out Day is celebrated every Oct. 11 to mark the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Each year since, thousands of GLBT people and allies have celebrated National Coming Out Day in schools, churches and businesses nationwide through workshops, speak-outs, rallies and other events aimed at showing the public that GLBT people are everywhere.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.