'Every single time we talk about our lives as GLBT Americans, we are another step closer to equality,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - "Talk About It" will be the theme of this year's National Coming Out Day, to be celebrated on Oct. 11, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced today. HRCF's Coming Out Project is an ongoing campaign to empower gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied Americans to live openly and honestly about their lives.
"Every single time we talk about our lives as GLBT Americans, we are another step closer to equality," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
"Each word helps build bridges that change hearts and minds - and eventually our laws."
A poll of GLBT Americans last year showed that startling amounts of people not only conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity from people in their lives, but many people who consider themselves to be "out" also refrain from speaking to others about GLBT issues. Among the findings of the poll: only 3 percent of members of the GLBT community are out to their doctors, and less than half are out to their bosses at work.
"Obviously, coming out for the first time is important for leading a whole and complete life, but we also want to help encourage and empower people to talk openly about their lives each and every day," said Mark Shields, director of the Coming Out Project.
Shields recently began as director of the Coming Out Project. Previously, he had served as deputy director of media relations at HRC, where he helped develop the organization's messages and provided information and resources to reporters and news outlets.
The Coming Out Project is particularly focusing on supportive straight people and working to give them resources and opportunities to voice their support for equality.
"We will only achieve equality by growing the number of people who stand with us," said Shields. "Every time a straight person speaks out against an anti-gay joke, or joins a gay-straight alliance, they are having a coming out experience. We want to honor that, and make sure it happens more often."
In the coming weeks, new resources and materials will be made available and the Coming Out Project will continue to mobilize around Coming Out Day, but it is also working to help people be "out" every single day.
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.
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