October 11 each year is National Coming Out Day.
This is a day to raise awareness of issues faced by individuals within the LGBTQIA+ communities and to raise awareness that homophobia and transphobia and all the phobias thrive in silence.
National Coming Out Day was inspired by a 1987 march on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
In researched published in Coming out is associated with in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine (2013) showed lower stress levels and a lower chance of depressive symptoms if a queer person had come out to friends and family.
That being said, there is also a lot of stress associated with the evaluation of whether or not it is safe to come out and disclose an important aspect of yourself to others. And according to Market Watch (10/11/18) approximately 50% of LGBTQIA+ folx are not out at work.
And for some folx there is a daily question of whether or not to come out to others because of the spaces that they are navigating. Especially for trans folx these issues come up when meeting a new medical provider, contacting insurance, dating, applying for a job, etc. Consider the amount of mental and emotional energy that requires.
And of course, coming out to the wrong people can be dangerous – people still lose their jobs, their homes, their partners and sometimes their lives. So the stakes are quite high.
That is why it is so incredibly important to respect an individual’s decision about whether they are in or out of the closet. Either option is something to be respected and a deeply personal decision. Outing someone on purpose is harmful. Just don’t do it.