Oct. 11, 2019 marks the 31st anniversary of Coming Out Day, a national, annual awareness day aimed at raising the voices of those in the LGBTQ community and highlighting their experiences. On this day, we celebrate those people who have courageously come out. It's also a stellar time to turn your support into action. Wondering how to fight for LGBTQ rights? Whether you’re a straight ally or a member of LGBTQ community, there are plenty of ways that you can make a difference on Coming Out Day.
Indeed, there have been some significant strides toward equality in recent years. In 2017, a record-breaking 68 out of 506 American cities earned perfect scores for advancing LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, according to a report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute. Specifically, the organizations highlighted progress on transgender equality: 25 cities revised their employee health care plans to cover health services for transgender citizens. While just five U.S. cities offered these services in 2012, that number surged to 111 cities nationwide in 2017. On top of that, more cities have modified administrative policies to squash discrimination — 18 cities updated their equal employment opportunity policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While acceptance of the LGBTQ community is increasing around the world, however, there have also been many setbacks — meaning there is still much work to be done.
Given the current political climate, taking action can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a number of approaches you can take to fight for LGBTQ rights, and Coming Out Day serves as the perfect time to do so. Whether you're a member of the community or an ally— here are few ways you can aid in the effort to bring about positive change, according to Clare Kenny, GLAAD Director of Youth Engagement.