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National Black Justice Coalition on National Coming Out Day: It’s Time to Create Spaces to “Invite In”


WASHINGTON, DC—Today, on National Coming Out Day, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statement: “National Coming Out day has historically been used to encourage queer people to tell others that we aren’t heterosexual, or cisgender,” said David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). “While today has served as a helpful landmark for many, we must expand our understanding of what “coming out” means — and create space for queer and trans people to instead “invite in” our loved ones. 

There is no equivalent expectation for people who aren’t queer to make big announcements about how they show up in the world—and yet not coming out has connotations of being dishonest or weak. But everyone has something that society tells us we should not feel comfortable disclosing—from mental illness, to debt, to past trauma, to the nuances of our relationships, and more. We all have many things we can learn about each other to deepen our relationships, especially if we demonstrate the compassion and competence required for others to invite us in—to share important parts of who they are and how they show up in the world

 “Today, we’re asking everyone to ask themselves: how are you creating space for the loved ones in your life to invite you in to a deeper understanding of who they are as whole people? How are you making yourself a safe and trustworthy person for others to share their identities with you? What work are you doing to increase your competence and to show compassion for people with diverse experiences

 “Inviting in recognizes that we are always growing, and that sharing essential parts of ourselves is not a necessity— but an act of love and trust.

 More facts

  •  Up to 20 percent of queer people live in rural areas
  •  39 percent of LGBTQ and same gender loving (SGL) people identify as people of color
  •  Less than 50 percent of teens identify as straight or strictly heterosexual
  •  Read more about Inviting In

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.