National Coming Out Day 2016: Quotes to inspire and reassure anyone worried about discussing their sexuality

Today marks the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day (NCOD), a day to celebrate coming out as a a member of the LGBT+ community.

Launched by the Human Rights Campaign, NCOD aims to support those who have recently come out or are considering doing so.

The day serves “as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out,” the NCOD website states.

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“Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer – still matters,” it continues. “When people know someone who is LGBT+, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories can be powerful to each other.”

The last few years have been excellent for LGBT+ visibility, with a number of high-profile figures speaking honestly and forthrightly about their sexuality and same-sex relationships and thus inspiring others to do the same.

Read on for some of the most inspiring quotes from celebrities on coming out.

Kristen Stewart

(Getty Images)

“When I was dating a guy I was hiding everything that I did because everything personal felt like it was immediately trivialised, so I didn’t like it. We were turned into these characters and placed into this ridiculous comic book, and I was like, ‘That’s mine. You’re making my relationship something that it’s not.’ I didn’t like that. 

“But then it changed when I started dating a girl. I was like, ‘Actually, to hide this provides the implication that I’m not down with it or I’m ashamed of it, so I had to alter how I approached being in public. It opened my life up and I’m so much happier.” 

Elle UK, 2016

Ellen Page

(Getty Images)

“I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”

Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive conference, 2014

Frank Ocean

(Getty Images)

“In the last year or three, I’ve screamed at my creator, screamed at the clouds in the sky, for some explanation. Mercy maybe. For peace of mind to rain like manna somehow.

“Four summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless.

“There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love.”

Tumblr, 2012

Ruby Tandoh

(Rex Features)

“Feeling lucky and joyful and free. Over and Out.

“P.S. for those who thought I fancied Paul Hollywood or that I’d ever bang him to get ahead – joke’s on you, you massive s***ing misogynists”.

Twitter, 2015

Tom Daley

(Getty Images)

“Now that everyone knows, I have nothing to hide, those chains that I felt wrapped around me are gone and I can carry on with my life as normal and be happy.”

YouTube, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres

(Getty Images)

“I don’t know what people are scared of. Maybe they think their children will be influenced, but I’ve got to tell you, I was raised by two heterosexuals. Everywhere I looked – heterosexuals. And they did not influence me.

“It’s time we love people for who they are and let them love who they want.”

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 2018

Billy Porter

(Getty Images)

“I found the arts and I found the theatre, a community that embraced me for who I am, and as I went deeper and deeper into that community, I discovered we were in the middle of a plague and had to fight.

“Extract yourself from anything that’s toxic. Change the narrative of, ‘I need the love of people, my mother, my father, my family to exist on the planet’. No! We don’t need acceptance, we don’t need tolerance, we need respect for our humanity.

“We demand respect for our humanity and we will give respect for everyone else so that we can all move forward.”

Gay Times, 2019

Sam Smith 

(Getty Images)

“The last year has been a wild ride of self-realisation and has almost felt like a second coming out. And the reason I’ve been able to show all of the sides of myself to the public and express myself in these ways is because I felt incredibly safe.

“I am so lucky to not only have an incredible family and team around me, but I also have access to talk and to seek help from the leaders and trailblazers in our community.”

Attitude Awards, 2019

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