QUEER VOICES
10/11/2018 05:27 pm ET

Here's How Ellen DeGeneres, Sean Hayes And More Honored National Coming Out Day

"Your happiness and safety are paramount," Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote.

For many members of the LGBTQ community, the journey to living authentically is beset by emotional challenges ― which is why National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11) remains as significant as ever.

Sometimes abbreviated as NCOD, National Coming Out Day was established in 1988 by activists Robert Eichberg and Jean O’Leary to celebrate queer visibility. It also recognizes the social and political strides made by the LGBTQ community. In the 30 years since then, the day has been recognized globally in places like the United Kingdom, Switzerland and other countries.

Ellen DeGeneres marked the occasion Thursday on Twitter and Instagram, sharing a sweet photo with her wife, Portia De Rossi. 

Among those to follow suit were “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes... 

... and Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy, who shared a photo of himself sharing a smooch with longtime boyfriend Matthew Wilkas. 

LGBTQ allies like “Hamilton” composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda also paid tribute.

Officials at the Human Rights Campaign, which has been formally organizing National Coming Out Day efforts since 1990, said the annual celebration’s themes have taken on deeper meaning given America’s current political climate.

While President Donald Trump was initially praised for having “more accepting” views on LGBTQ issues than other Republicans on the campaign trail, his time in office has been anything but queer-friendly thus far.

An HRC report published in June found that 46 percent of U.S. workers who identify as LGBTQ say they remain closeted at work.

“Coming out can be one of the most courageous acts an LGBTQ person makes, and that courage is inextricably tied to our continued progress toward full equality,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a press release.

“Visibility matters, and research shows that when people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support full equality under the law. Coming out and sharing our stories is essential to advancing LGBTQ equality and fighting back against attempts to turn back the clock on our progress.”

See how other LGBTQ stars, personalities and allies honored National Coming Out Day on social media below.  

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