The world is celebrating the 31st National Coming Out Day on Friday. The event marks the occasion to recognize one's sexuality as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer, or their gender identity as transgender, or gender non-conforming (LQBTQ). Apart from merely acknowledging one's sexual or gender identity, the day also aims to spread the message of acceptance of the LQBTQ community in society. The day also celebrates the power of living openly as a part of the LGBTQ community. National Coming Out Day found its inception around 40 years ago when it was established to commemorate the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights on October 14, 1979. The celebrations include pride marches in the United States where members of the community and other supporters throng to the streets donning colourful attire and many events are organized for the LGBTQ community.
Many prominent faces in Hollywood came out at the peak of their stardom as they gathered courage and narrated the story of their journey.
Lilly Singh: YouTube sensation, stand up comedian, and now late-night Talk show host Lilly Singh came out as a bisexual in 2019. The star spoke about her sexuality and identity through a series of tweets. Singh was the first South Asian woman to openly express her views.
Lil Nas X: The rapper known for his popular hits like 'Old Town Road' and 'Rodeo' came out publically as a gay in June 2019. Lil Nas X confirmed it through a series of tweets where he informed his fans about his sexuality. During an interview, he stated that he was gay and understands that his sexuality has not found acceptance in the country and the music world. The news of his identity also faced a lot of backlash on social media.
Hennessy Carolina: Cardi B's younger sister, who is making it big in the fashion industry is also an LGBTQ icon. Carolina announced that she was queer in a magazine interview. She made a strong revelation and also discussed the process of coming out to her family which ultimately led to acceptance.
Caitlyn Jenner: Caitlyn Jenner's story is perhaps the most inspiring one. The Olympic Gold medalist made headlines after she came out as a transgender back in 2015. Caitlyn is an important member of the famous Kardashian family. Apparently, she had dealt with severe gender dysphoria since she was a child. Jenner underwent cosmetic surgery and completed sex reassignment surgery in January 2017.
In spite of several revelations and more people coming out as a part of the LGBTQ community, hate crimes have been a looming threat against the community. One of the most relevant example is Ellen DeGeneres who has faced severe criticism over her identity. Ellen has become a television sensation and a household name in USA. However, she had to face wide criticism and backlash for her identity. Back in 1997, DeGeneres came out as a lesbian and it sparked a serious controversy which was highlighted by tabloids across the United States. Billy Potter The actor known for his sartorial dressing sense came out during his early 20's as gay. The actor got hitched with Adam Smith on January 14, 2017. While the acceptance of all sexualities has risen across parts of the world, India still lacks awareness in several parts of the society. Though the government of India has made many legislative changes to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) equality - such as anti-discrimination laws, the negative attitudes of people towards the community unfortunately still loom.
(With ANI Inputs)