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NBJC Celebrates Coming Out Day!

Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day. We at the National Black Justice Coalition are taking a moment to honor all Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people who have been bold and courageous enough to choose living an open, authentic life over the crippling darkness of being closeted. We know that for many of you coming out and staying out–may have been the hardest thing you ever had to do. You may have lost family and friends, at times you may have felt unsafe, and you may have even questioned your faith. But with time and determination, you formed new families, transformed the families that you were born and adopted into, created safety for others, discovered spiritual practices that affirm you, and became shining examples to all of those who are still making the journey to lovingly embrace themselves for who they are. We thank you and implore you to never give up.

No More Down LowOn this day, we want to spotlight the work of Earnest Winborne, a dedicated pioneer for Black LGBT visibility who has labored tirelessly to create positive media images of people in our community through his online news show Earnest is a veteran television producer, having worked with Oprah, Access Hollywood, and The View. Every month he produces an on-line show about contemporary Black LGBT issues, our history and important events. We thank Earnest for his vision, his commitment, and his artistic excellence.

Through Earnest, we are reminded that there is tremendous political power in being out and in telling your story. Studies show that the family and friends of out LGBT people are more likely to vote on behalf of measures that affirm our equality and create safety for us. So tell your stories of trial, triumph, and self discovery wherever you can, as often as you can–at home, at work, and in church–provided you feel safe enough to do so.

If you need help coming out, please read the Human Rights Campaign’s “Coming Out” Guide for African-Americans. If you’re feeling challenged on your journey and you need encouragement, check out the “It Gets Better Campaign.” If you’re already out and feeling good about who you’ve come to be, help somebody else find the courage to be all that they have the potential to be…openly, honestly, authentically.

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.