For trans people and asexuals, coming out isn’t just about visibility. It’s survival.
By Mari Brighe
When the LGBT community first celebrated National Coming Out Day in 1987, the act of coming out itself commonly cost a person their family, their friends, their job, or their lives. Twenty-seven years later, in an era of corporate-sponsored pride events, nationwide marriage equality, and rainbow Dorritos, it would be tempting to think we no longer need we don’t need to set aside a day to observe the act of coming out or have a hashtag to celebrate it. This Sunday marked the 28th annual #ComingOutDay.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While hate crimes persist for gays and lesbiansand bisexual folks deal with bigotry in and outside the community, they have found significantly increased acceptance over the last quarter century.
However, the gains have been far slower for other gender and sexual minorities—particularly transgender people and those on the asexuality spectrum. Coming out is still a scary and difficult process for any queer person, but trans people still face the most extraordinary backlash for living authentically, while asexual folks are often entirely erased and ignored. Both deserve the same support in their coming out journey that has helped unify the LGB portions of the community for the last 27 years.