Advocates across the city planned events to commemorate National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11, including in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Borough President Vanessa Gibson and LGBTQ advocates distributed flyers and resources throughout the borough on Oct. 11 as part of National Coming Out Day festivities, and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center planned a day-long event for the weekend following National Coming Out Day.
National Coming Out Day was founded by the lesbian and gay activists Jean O’Leary and Robert Eichberg in 1988, at the height of the AIDS crisis, with the goal to raise awareness about the epidemic’s devastating toll on the LGBTQ community. They chose October 11, marking the first anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
This year, Gibson was joined by the South Bronx nonprofit Destination Tomorrow, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the NYC Commission on Gender Equity, and the Bronx LGBTQIA+ Task Force. The National Coming Out Day gatherings were held at 161st St. and River Ave. in the morning and at Third Ave. and East Tremont Ave. during the afternoon.
“Our borough will always be a safe space for everyone, regardless of their gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, or whom they choose to love,” Gibson said in a written statement. “We are uplifting the voices of those within our LGBTQIA+ community and letting our residents know that we will not tolerate bigotry or hatred of any kind.”
The event came ahead of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s National Coming Out Day celebration on Oct. 14. Complete with food, music, panels, and workshops, the center has a Saturday event slated from noon to 6 p.m. at the Major R. Owens Health and Wellness Center at 1561 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn.