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National Coming Out Day Contains Both Pride And Pain

Today is National Coming Out Day, an observance started by two activists in 1988 to celebrate queer identities and emphasize the power of LGBTQ+ visibility as politically transformative. As queer people gained the right to marry and increasing protections from discrimination, the day is increasingly fraught. Some resent the concept of “coming out” at all, saying that over-normalizes heterosexuality. Others find the day to be an agonizing exercise for those unable to be out as LGBTQ+.