What is the National Coming Out Day Campaign about?

The LGBT Network’s NCOD Campaign is a one-day campaign that engages communities to take a stand against the discrimination, violence, harassment, and bullying of LGBT people by “coming out” in support of safe spaces where they Live, Learn, Work, Play and Pray.

Ordinarily, people participate in the Campaign by wearing a rainbow ribbon, a symbol of LGBT Pride and history, as a way to visually “come out” in support of safe spaces for LGBT people.

This year, we’re all VIRTUAL to support creating safer spaces during COVID.  So, while people are social distancing and are learning, working, playing, and praying remotely right now, our Campaign encourages them to #RepTheRainbow virtually.  See the “How do I Participate” question below for details on way to show your support and #RepTheRainbow virtually.

Who is running the campaign?

The LGBT Network is running the National Coming Out Day campaign.

The LGBT Network is an association of 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that are a home and a voice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of all ages, their families, and support networks of Long Island and Queens.

The LGBT Network is the only organization on Long Island wholly dedicated to serving the LGBT community.

The LGBT Network has a 26-year history of pioneering advocacy and change to promote safe spaces where LGBT people live, learn, work, play, and pray. Our work helps LGBT people to be themselves, stay healthy, and change the world

Learn more about the LGBT Network at www.LGBTNetwork.org.

When does the event take place?

The LGBT Network’s National Coming Out Day Campaign takes place on Friday, October 9, 2020.

Who can participate?

Everyone can participate!

How do I participate?

People participate in the campaign by “Rep’ing” the rainbow (#RepTheRainbow).  This means doing things that raise awareness about creating safe spaces for LGBT people.  With an all virtual Campaign this year, there are a number of ways people can participate:

  1. First, sign up to register yourself, your school, or your institution as a participant.  This will provide you with access to our free “Virtual Campaign Toolkit.” 
  2. Once you have access to the toolkit, download all the virtual images and display them on all your social media and other online platforms.  Virtual images to display include social media graphics and zoom backgrounds with rainbow ribbon “buttons”, pronouns “buttons,” ally “buttons,” and more!  You can also print these images and hang them in your home or any other location.
  3. Sign the Safe Space Pledge.  This year’s pledge is a Call to Action providing tangible steps we can take in our day-to-day lives to create safer spaces.  Sign the Pledge and commit to taking these action steps not just on National Coming Out Day, but every day of the year! 
  4. Request a free virtual NCOD training to help you and/or your group learn more about the Campaign and identity ways to customize this year’s Campaign for your group. 
  5. Become a volunteer to serve as “Virtual Campaign Ambassadors” and be a visible promoter of the Campaign, encouraging others to participate, and share updates and other Campaign promotions among your social networks. 
  6. Make a donation to help support the Campaign.

How does an organization or institution participate?

Institutions participate in the campaign by organizing as a group to “Rep” the rainbow (#RepTheRainbow).  This means taking action to raise awareness about creating safe spaces for LGBT people.  With an all virtual Campaign this year, there are a number of ways institutions can participate:

  1. First, sign up to register your school, group, or other institution.  This will provide you with access to our free “Virtual Campaign Toolkit.” 
  2. Once you have access to the toolkit, download all the virtual images and share with other members of your institution. 
  3. Make a plan with members of your group to display virtual images on social media and other online platforms.  Images include social media graphics and zoom backgrounds with rainbow ribbon “buttons”, pronouns “buttons,” ally “buttons,” and more!  You can also print these images and hang them throughout your institution.
  4. Sign the Safe Space Pledge and make a plan for all members of your institution to do the same.  This year’s pledge is a Call to Action providing tangible steps we can take in our day-to-day lives to create safer spaces.  Sign the Pledge and commit to taking these action steps not just on National Coming Out Day, but every day of the year! 
  5. Hold your own NCOD event such as a Virtual Speak Out and display this year’s Campaign materials during the event.  You can request a free virtual NCOD training to help your group learn more about the Campaign and to identity potential events you can host and/or other ways to customize this year’s Campaign for your group. 

If I do not belong to an organization or institution that is participating, can I still participate?

Absolutely! Read above for ways that individuals can participate.

What is a safe space?

A “Safe Space” is an inclusive environment that affirms LGBT identities; supports LGBT people in living as their authentic selves fully, openly, and freely; and fosters the achievement of their full potential.

The LGBT Network’s Safe Space Program works to create safe, LGBT-affirming environments for LGBT people, their families, and support systems, beyond the walls of our community centers, in the places where LGBT people Live, Learn, Work, Play and Pray.

Do I have to be LGBT to participate?

No!  We encourage participation by anyone and everyone.  It takes a village to create safe spaces for everyone, and allies, family, and friends are a critical part of this effort.

How can I obtain Campaign materials?

All of our Campaign materials are available for download for FREE on our website.  Sign up and register here to gain access to our Virtual Campaign Toolkit, which includes campaign posters, educational cards, and images for rainbow ribbons, pronouns stickers, and ally stickers.  Once you gain access, you can download all images that can be printed or displayed on social media and other online platforms.   

Do I have to come out to participate?

When we use the term “coming out” in the context of this Campaign, we are not referring to someone coming out as an LGBT person.  People participate in the Campaign by coming out in support of safe spaces – not about their LGBT identity.  Therefore, anyone can participate.

What does the rainbow mean?

The rainbow is an international symbol of LGBT Pride and History.  Repping the rainbow is a way to visually “come out” in support of safe spaces for LGBT people.

What does 'ally' mean?

An ‘ally’ is a term used to describe a person who is supportive of LGBT people.