National Coming Out Day

In its 22nd year, National Coming Out Day celebrates and supports individuals who choose to “come out,” or publicly identify as part of the LGBT community. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

National Coming Out Day was created in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of The Experience, a personal growth workshop, and Jean O’Leary, a Los Angeles-based, openly gay political leader, who was head of the National Gay Rights Advocates.

Oct. 11 was chosen as the awareness day as the anniversary of “The Great March” on Washington the year previous. More commonly known as the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the event lasted six days with activities including a mass wedding and protest in front of the IRS building, a protest at the Supreme Court building of the ruling Bowers v. Hardwick and the first unveiling of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

“The Great March” was estimated to have half a million participants, led by Cesar Chavez and National Organization for Women president Eleanor Smeal. Other speakers at the rally included then Democratic presidential nominee candidate Jesse Jackson and actress Whoopi Goldberg.

On Oct. 24, the Chefs for Equality event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton. The event, emceed by fashion and television personality Tim Gunn, will also host featured guest Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. There will be more than 30 participating chefs and 16 featured mixologists. For tickets and more information, visit

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