One of the best parts about National Coming Out Day is all of the amazing stories that emerge about how people came out — and the huge amount of love and encouragement for those who still don't feel quite ready. The day is not about forcing anyone out of the closet or making people feel like they should have done it already. It's more a reminder about why coming out is significant.
"LGBTQ people have to first identify themselves privately in a world that continues to tell them that people like them are not welcome, are not equal, and then eventually try to work up the courage to announce themselves as being different," Nate Warden, founder of Coming Out, an open source platform for sharing stories about coming out, tells Bustle. "Events like Coming Out Day and Pride are crucial in making this process easier because they are times when the LGBTQ community becomes visible — not just an idea, but a literally mass of people in the streets, or a collection of voices to be heard. We set an example for those who have yet to find and love themselves."
And that's exactly what all of the love pouring out on social media today shows. There are so many tweets and memes telling those who want to come out, or those who haven't come out yet, that there is a massive, warm community there to accept them. Nobody is saying that anyone has to come out today. What the holiday is about is showing people that, when you do, we'll be here.
It's lovely to see so many people stepping up to share their support. Allies, people who are coming out today, people who came out ages ago — they're all sending a positive message to other folks in the LGBTQ community. Here are the some great tweets and memes — but make sure that you have a tissue ready.