Tuesday is National Coming Out Day, an observance organized by the Human Rights Campaign to recognize and promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people's right to be themselves and live in a supportive world.
National Coming Out Day started Oct. 11, 1988, the first anniversary of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, according to the HRC website. This is the 28th celebration.
"Most people think they don't know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact everybody does," National Coming Out Day cofounder Robert Eichsberg said in 1993. "It is imperative that we come out and let people know who we are and disabuse them of their fears and stereotypes."
"I'm me. That's all I am and all I want to be. Do I have to be something?" — Rita Mae Brown
"The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you've just told them." — Rachel Maddow
"These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed." — Ricky Martin
"It’s okay. It may not seem like it right now, but you are going to be fine. I know it’s scary, but don’t be afraid. You are who you are, and you should love that person, and I don’t want anyone to have to go through 22 years of their life afraid to accept that." — Connor Franta
"Coming out has made me a lot better of a person." — Laura Jane Grace
"Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand up and start to fight." — Harvey Milk
"At the border of where I will literally not survive so long as I keep living in so much fear of the harsh judgments of others, I am finally conceding the truth to you all. I am finally conceding the truth to me. I am something other than straight." — Dan Pearce
"I want to own my truth... no one else should tell my story but me." — Michael Sam
"There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness." — Frank Ocean
"The only queer people are those who don't love anybody." ― Rita Mae Brown
"I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love — the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it — is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise." — Ellen Page