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On October 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march when over 100 LGBT activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Virginia. Recognizing that visibility was key to gaining equality, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that march on Washington to mark it. 

Now, 25 years later, the fact remains: coming out still matters. Over the past 25 years, Americans of all walks of life—celebrities, politicians, athletes, and everyday Americans—have come out and shared their stories. Every person that speaks up changes more hearts and minds and creates new advocates for equality.

As we prepare to commemorate 25 years of National Coming Out Day on Friday, join us in looking back at some of the trailblazing coming out moments in American media that raised the profile of LGBT Americans and sparked important dialogue about the fight for equality. 

Watch and share our new NCOD video below:

Throughout the week, HRC is pleased to bring you a series of blog posts and videos from HRC friends, supporters and staff sharing their coming out stories and discussing the still profound impact of coming out. Stay tuned to the HRC blog for more. And be sure to cast your vote for your favorite NCOD T-shirt design by Ryan McGinness.

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