Friday marks the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day, celebrated every year on October 11 , the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The day is meant to celebrate the act of "coming out" -- when an LGBT person decides to publicly share their gender identities or sexual orientation.
Though not everyone can safely come out, many people use the day to share their own personal coming out stories, support those who choose to keep their identities a secret or come out themselves.
This particular National Coming Out Day comes amidst a troubling time for LGBT folks in the United States. On October 8, the Supreme Court began considering whether the federal employment law -- which prevents discrimination based on sex -- also encompasses discrimination claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity
The Trump administration has said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not provide such protections , and the lower courts have split on the issue. But at stake lies the ability of the government to protect the LGBT community -- as the cases could have broader implications for housing and education, not just employment.
Politicians, writers, celebrities and even national governments took to Twitter to express their support Friday. Here are some highlights.
What people said
Pete Buttigieg, Democratic presidential nominee hopeful, reflected on how far the US has come on LGBT rights, while also expressing concern for where the country is now. He wrote that teens today "see a president banning trans service members from the military and attacking gay rights. They see queer-friendly businesses opening but can't forget Pulse. They see hate crimes rising. They see a country where they are still not fully free or safe—unsure if they belong."
He went on to encourage those who still haven't come out.
Coming out requires finding the courage to share your truth. It requires you to stand on the hope that you will be accepted, and the faith that you can overcome rejection. If today is your day, I am proud of you. Your future is bright. You belong. Happy #NationalComingOutDay!— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 11, 2019
Writer Saeed Jones, whose new memoir "How We Fight for Our Lives" partly deals with his own coming out process, offered encouragement.
Happy #nationalcomingoutday! It takes a lot of work, time and energy to get to space where you feel comfortable being your whole self. Take your time. We will be here, loving you all the same. Unless you're a Nazi in which case the reality of your life will be its own punishment.— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) October 11, 2019
America's favorite ice skater, Adam Rippon, told a part of his own story -- making a slight joke in the process.
On this #NationalComingOutDay I'm celebrating all the cardigan sweaters I wore as a closeted gay teenager. Thank you for telling the world I was gay before I was ready to.— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) October 11, 2019
Sara Ramirez, artist and activist, shared resources for those grappling with their identity.
"Coming out" isn't an option for everyone. I still think it's important to have resources if one is considering grappling with it. Ahead of #NationalComingOutDay here's support from @TrevorProject in case it resonates for you/someone you care about. #LGBTQIA+ #LGBTQ #Queer 🌈♥️ https://t.co/D3Xe97vDI3— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) October 10, 2019
The Human Rights Campaign put together a video highlighting multiple LGBT folks sharing their own coming out stories.
🎤𝑰'𝒎 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒖𝒕! 🎤𝑰 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘! 🎤 𝑰 𝒈𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒘! 🎤— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 11, 2019
Today is National #ComingOutDay and we want to celebrate every brave soul that has decided to come out and live their truth. pic.twitter.com/jFnUjEhxU1
Stonewall UK, a nonprofit, also celebrated the day by spreading some love.
Happy #NationalComingOutDay! Whether or not you're openly LGBT, never forget you are a valid, important part of our community. Wherever you are in your own personal journey, we're here and we're proud of you 🌈 pic.twitter.com/n1PtyXFUGx— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) October 11, 2019
And last but certainly not least, the Scottish government got involved, sharing resources and support for Scots looking to come out.
We're proud to be making Scotland an inclusive country where everyone feels safe to be themselves.— Scottish Government (@scotgov) October 11, 2019
If you feel comfortable and ready to come out but would like some support, you can find help and advice at https://t.co/NY26zdWSkN #NationalComingOutDay pic.twitter.com/SJQIXOij1F