lgbt rights
A man holds up the LGBT pride flag towards members of the Westboro Baptist Church near the site of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Wednesday is National Coming Out Day, which is an annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) awareness day observed on Oct. 11.

It was founded in 1988 by Richard Eichberg, a psychologist, and Jean O'Leary, a gay rights activist, to spread awareness about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its civil rights movement, according to American Psychological Association.

On Oct. 11, 1987, about half a million people participated in a March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which was the second such demonstration in the nation's capital. This march resulted in the formation of several LGBTQ organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ ) and AT&T’s LGBTQ employee group, League.

"Most people think they don't know anyone gay or lesbian, and in fact everybody does," cofounder 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."

Express your true self and respect your individuality with these 11 quotes collected from Brainyquote and Goodreads.

1. Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. — Jim Morrison

2. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Be yourself, but always your better self. — Karl G. Maeser

4. The world is so obsessed with defining sexuality for everyone and attaching labels to it. Any time any person openly leaves the sexual norm, their sexuality becomes, more often than not, the absolute defining characteristic of that person. It becomes the first thing people think about and often the first thing they mention. Every other part of that person all but disappears. — Dan Pearce

5. This is our big chance to see what people think of us. The real us. We have to show em there's nothing to be afraid of. If we don't get over our fears, they never will. — Lisi Harrison

6. To help yourself, you must be yourself. Be the best that you can be. When you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and move on. — Dave Pelzer

7. When we choose to live authentically we chip away at others prisons of pretend and create an opportunity for them to walk out of darkness into freedom. — Anthony Venn-Brown

8. Only by speaking out can we create lasting change. And that change begins with coming out. — DaShanne Stokes

9. My dad said, "Stay humble, and you gotta work harder than everybody else." My mom said, "Always be yourself." She always told me only God can judge me. — Nate Robinson

10. To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. — Bindi Irwin

11. You just have to be yourself and go full with confidence and be courageous. — Gabby Douglas