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HRC Celebrates National Coming Out Day With Video Highlighting Celebrities Advancing Equality

Today, the HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, celebrated National Coming Out Day by releasing a new video highlighting actors, athletes, musicians, and others who are helping to advance equality by coming out and sharing their stories. HRC is also featuring guides and resources that are part of its National Coming Out Project.

“Coming out — whether as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally — is incredibly important in our fight to advance LGBTQ equality,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research, and Training. “Research proves that when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality. It takes bravery and courage to come out, and by speaking up and sharing our stories, we are helping to make the world a better place by changing hearts and minds.”

Every year on October 11, National Coming Out Day promotes a safe world in which LGBTQ people can live truthfully and openly. In honor of the important annual event, HRC’s new video highlights actors, athletes, musicians and YouTube sensations who have helped advance the movement for equality by coming out over the past year. Numerous celebrities and public figures have come out for equality in 2016, including Sara Ramirez, Marcelas Owens, Stefanie Dolson, Bill Kennedy, Michael Angelakos, Amandla Stenberg, Charlie Carver, Rowan Blanchard, Gus Kenworthy, Rayvon Owen, Brendan Jordan, Colton Haynes, Lilly Wachowski, Trey Pearson, Keke Palmer, Mara Wilson, Aubrey Plaza, Alexis G. Zall, Stephanie Beatriz, Claire Kittrell, Bella Thorne, Eva Gutowski, Ricky Dillon, Reid Ewing, Shawn Balentine, Nyle DiMarco, Rebecca Sugar, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brian Anderson, and Holland Taylor.

Coming out and living openly is a journey that individuals choose to make every single day of their lives. Whether it’s for the first time ever or the first time today, coming out can be an arduous journey. Every coming out experience is unique and must be navigated in the way most comfortable for the individual. To help in that journey, HRC through its National Coming Out Project has released invaluable guides and resources, including:

In addition to the power of coming out, this year it’s more important than ever that LGBTQ and pro-equality voters use their power to elect candidates who will support the progress we’ve made, and work to advance it in the future. With so much at stake in this year’s elections, HRC has been working throughout the year to mobilize pro-equality voters as part of an unprecedented #turnOUT campaign. In addition, HRC recently launched a multi-state voter contact effort that, for the first time, reaches well beyond the nation’s nearly 10 million LGBTQ voters to mobilize the growing ranks of allies with a history of supporting equality.