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National Coming Out Day is an annual LGBTQ+ awareness day observed on the 11th of October.
It was inaugurated in 1988 by LGBTQ+ activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary. The celebration helped share the narrative of members of the LGBTQ+ community in navigating the process of coming out.
To this day, many LGBTQ+ people struggle with societal issues around their identities and the way the world is tailored around heterosexuality.
Our #ComingOutSeries is centred around bringing your whole self to work. We hope that this content empowers people and promotes intersectionality for us all to support Coming Out.
Gain insight into the challenges and journey the LGBTQ+ community has faced. It is important to cover everything, but for the events listed, we have provided the key events.
2021 – Same sex marriages recognised globally
Same-sex marriages were recognised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Mexico, Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Ireland, the United States, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Malta, Australia, Austria, Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Switzerland, and Chile.
2019 – Declassification of transgender health issues as disorders
The WHO’s manual of diagnoses was updated to no longer classify transgender health issues as mental or behavioural disorders.
2014 – Same-sex marriage
The Same-Sex Couples Act allowed same-sex couples to marry in England, Wales and Scotland. In 2015, the US also made same-sex marriage legal, and in Northern Ireland since 2020.
2002 – Equal rights for adoption to same-sex couples
Lesbian, gay, single people and same-sex couples in the UK were allowed to adopt a child in the UK with the Adoption and Children Act.
1993 – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Gay men, lesbians and bisexuals were banned from serving in the US military. The policy was introduced to disallow the military to ask members about their sexual orientation.
1990 – Declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness
The World Health Organisation (WHO), a United Nations agency took homosexuality off its list of mental illnesses, which was a significant moment for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
1979 – The National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights
After the assassination of the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California Harvey Milk | Politician, the gay liberation movement grew even stronger forming a large political rally. The first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights took place on October 14th.
1978 – The LGBTQ+ rainbow flag
The emblematic flag was designed by Gilbert Baker | Activist, Artist and Educator. His creation spans across four decades and has been embraced as the universal symbol of the LGBTQ+ movement.
1969 – The Stonewall Riots
Members of the LGBTQ+ community fought back against discrimination and police raids on gay bars at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, USA. This was the start of the modern LGBTQ+ movement and pride marches around the world.
1967 – The Sexual Offences Act
Although homosexuality was widely discriminated against, The Sexual Offences Act was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It legalised consensual sex between two men over 21 in private.
1966 – The inaguration of the Beaumont Society
The first ever trans-support group was created, originally called the UK Chapter, based on the secret American organisation Full Personality Expression (FPE). The association provides awareness and creates a safe and supportive social environment to flourish. Today it is open to all members and allies.
a continuous journey
The timeline represents progress in society, yet, there is still a long way to go.
We hope that through our series we are providing a platform for our colleagues to feel safe in the workplace and comfortable with #bringingyourwholeself to work.
Stay tuned for our ongoing series! Watch this space for the next updates.