Communities, social media celebrate National Coming Out Day

Story highlights

  • October 11 is National Coming Out Day
  • Many communities are celebrating with rallies, parades

(CNN)Sunday is National Coming Out Day, a day of celebration for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and their allies.

Social media were buzzing with posts and videos in honor of the occasion.
The Rhodes brothers emotionally came out to their dad in a video posted to YouTube. "I just don't want you to, like, not love us anymore or anything like that," said Austin Rhodes, who was fighting back tears.
    His dad responded, "You know I love you both. That'll never change."
    Austin Rhodes' concerns are not necessarily unfounded. Coming out -- announcing their sexual orientation or gender identity to families and friends -- can be a challenging moment for LGBTQ people.
    Even in an era when LGBTQ people are more accepted in society, a point driven home by the Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage earlier this year, some still find discrimination or bigotry because of who they are.
    National Coming Out Day was first celebrated in 1988, when tens of thousands of LGBTQ people and their allies converged on Washington for the first National March for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The event, routinely held October 11, is now marked with many different celebrations nationwide, including rallies and parades, often coinciding with Gay Pride festivals.
    In Atlanta, crosswalks near the historic Piedmont Park were painted with the colors of the rainbow.

    #lovewins #atlpride 👨🏾+👨🏿

    A photo posted by @daronammo on

    A rainbow flag was raised at City Hall in Philadelphia, before "OutFest," a big block party, began.

    #pride #nationalcomingoutday #lgbt #outfestphilly

    A video posted by Eric Walter (@butenoughaboutme) on

    Many individuals shared their stories and words of encouragement using the hashtag #NationalComingOutDay.
    "(C)oming out is great, but do it on YOUR terms. #NationalComingOutDay is meant to encourage discussion, not put pressure on those not ready," posted YouTube star Tyler Oakley.

    Yaaaassss @itsshangela! Own who you are and serve it! #NationalComingOutDay ❤️💜💛💚💙

    A video posted by RuPaul's Drag Race (@rupaulsdragrace) on

    Shanglea from the show "RuPaul's Drag Race" offers words of encouragement in a video posted on Instagram.
    "Coming out can be really special," she said. "I want you guys to own who you are, be proud of it, be confident."
    Bradlee posted on Twitter, "If anyone is planning on coming out today just remember, You have an army of people supporting you."