Human Rights Campaign Celebrates National Coming Out Day and the Significance of Chosen Family

by Aryn Fields

Today, the Human Rights Campaign is commemorating the 34th annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD) by honoring the importance of chosen families through the theme of “We Are Family,” that includes the launch of a new video and a special edition t-shirt that uplifts the love and support from chosen families.

The video features the Washington Renegades, North America’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive men’s rugby team, as they share the chosen family they have created as a team, and insights about coming out for the first time.

National Coming Out Day exists to promote a safe, inclusive and loving world where LGBTQ+ people can live truthfully, openly and without fear. Coming out is a journey—a long, sometimes challenging, journey that requires a support system that enables you to live in your full truth. That is why family, including a chosen family, is so critical—family practices unconditional love and support, whether you’re born into it or you find it for yourself. We need to remember that coming out is still so powerful—our stories, our identities and our experiences give us collective strength.

Joni Madison, Interim President of The Human Rights Campaign

HRC first observed NCOD on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 34 years ago. HRC asked supporters to record messages of support to LGBTQ+ youth who are in the process of coming out—thousands of heartwarming messages were compiled into this audio quilt. Similar affirmations, regarding the coming out experience and celebrating NCOD, can be viewed here. For more information and resources on NCOD, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center, which showcases various Coming Out Guides for the LGBTQ+ community.

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