National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an LGBT+ awareness holiday that was founded in the United States in 1988. This day is yearly celebrated by those in the LGBT+ community on Oct. 10 and 11, including those at the University of Wisconsin–Stout.
The point of NCOD is to raise awareness about LGBT+ people and the discrimination they face. Many queer people, including those on UW–Stout’s campus, use this day to tell their stories, oftentimes on social media.
Rose Barker, sophomore in entertainment design, animation, stated that, “[NCOD was created] to show the magnitude and the wide variety of identities […] It shows everyone who may not have thought previously they did have a trans person or a gay person in their life- it shows them that they do.”
While some students shared their stories online, others chose to come out and speak about their experiences verbally.
Sarah Campbell, a sophomore in entertainment design, animation, and a member of the LGBT+ community, said, “Coming Out Day is meant to break the barrier in a healthy way. […] Instead of being pressured to come out, it gives them the option to do it in a way they want.”
Campbell continued, “It allows people to celebrate what they have gone through to come out. I didn’t know about National Coming Out Day when I first came out, but it helps others.”
Outside of coming out both verbally and on social media, there are other ways people celebrated NCOD on campus. The Qube, a group at UW–Stout that defines itself as “a resource hub for LGBTQ+ students and our allies,” organized a NCOD march. This march was held on Oct. 11 and began at the Memorial Student Center. Those that identified as LGBT+ and their allies walked throughout campus in order to celebrate NCOD.
“This day is something that really helps those in the LGBT+ Community.” Barker said, “With all the awareness brought to it, it can really help people that [are struggling].”