(WWLP) – Monday, October 11 is National Coming Out Day, an annual day of awareness to support members of the LGBTQ+ community.

National Coming Out Day was created in 1988 to commemorate the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights. The day is meant to support those who are coming out or sharing their sexual orientation or gender identity with others.


According to the Trevor Project, the day is meant to “create safe, affirming environments where LGBTQ people, especially those who are transgender, non-binary, and people of color can be their authentic selves and thrive.”

The Trevor Project is an American nonprofit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts for the LGBTQ+ community. Out Now is a local organization in Springfield that provides support for LGBTQ+ youth.

The organization says coming out is a very personal decision made by an individual and is encouraged to be done when a person feels right and safe to do so. People do not need to come out for their identity to be valid either.

“I think it is nice to have a day where I can go out and be proud of just be who I am,” said Mabel Chenes of Northampton. “I am bisexual. I feel safe to walk outside and be in a town like this, and I can just be me.”