By Hayley Derwort
It’s been 27 years since National Coming Out Day (NCOD) first started and the celebration is gaining momentum.
The official date was October 11 but Graeme Watson, editor of Out-In-Perth, says that it should be more than one in every 365 days.
“We want to get to the point where people feel happy coming out every day,” Mr Watson said.
“It does put a focus on what many people have to go through.”
A LGBTQI person may have to come out thousands of times in their life and the struggle can be directly linked to mental health and suicide, says Andrew Barker, president of Pride Western Australia.
“The reason we have a day like this is to create an awareness of the struggle and anguish that people go through preparing themselves to out themselves to family and friends,” Mr Barker said.
Oppression has followed the cause onto social media with some users taking to Twitter to post tweets ‘coming out as straight’ as a way of mocking the event.
“What they’re missing there is that yes we’re having a day of celebration but you’re missing out on all the other days of oppressed, insulted and abused. I don’t see anyone standing up saying we’d like our 364 days of abuse please,” Mr Watson told Bounce News.
“Particularly in recent years with social media going crazy, awareness levels have gone up thousand fold every year. One comment goes viral and spreads awareness much quicker,” Mr Barker said.
Mr Barker said that Pride-WA’s next goal would be to get NCOD off the ground here in Australia since it always been an American celebration.
“In Australia each state has their own organisation and not every state has one. There is no national movement collective yet,” Mr Barker said.
Hear the full interviews with Mr Watson and Mr Barker here: