LGBT Network Has Record-Breaking National Coming Out Day Campaign

The LGBT Network launched its largest community organizing effort in the organization’s 25-year history – National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Campaign on Thursday October 11th #weartheribbon. More than 430 organizations, businesses, schools, athletic teams, government officials and others, along with a record half million people participated in the LGBT Network’s 17th annual NCOD Campaign across the United States and globally in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The campaign originated in 2002 as a modest effort in Long Island schools and is still organized on Long Island with a reach now around the world. Google, eBay, the New York Islanders, Dow Jones, Bosch, Stony Brook University, Columbia University, EmblemHealth, the Nassau County Legislature, the Town of Brookhaven, GEICO, the entire New York City Council, 180 Long Island and NYC schools, and more are among the record number of groups participating to create safe and inclusive spaces where LGBT people live, learn, work, play and pray.

People participated in the campaign by wearing a rainbow ribbon and placing posters and other educational material developed by the LGBT Network as a way to come out in support of safe spaces. The LGBT Network’s NCOD campaign is not about one’s sexual orientation; it’s an effort for everyone to join and be part of a powerful movement for change in their institutions and communities.

David Kilmnick, PhD, President/CEO of LGBT Network said, “The response to our National Coming Out Day Campaign this year has been astounding. Over 430 companies and half a million individual participants have signed up this year. This is a tremendous accomplishment. Our aim is to engage everyone – not just LGBT people, but also our allies, families, co-workers and friends – so that together we can build awareness throughout our communities, create safe spaces and have a more just world for all LGBT people.”

The campaign this year was just as important as it was when it began in 2002. “We have much more work to do,” Kilmnick said. “Many people thought that when marriage equality passed our work was done. But bias, violence and safety still remain pressing issues for the LGBT community; 85% of LGBT students report daily verbal harassment in schools with one-in-three LGBT students skipping school out of fear of bullying. And in the workplace, up to 43% of LGBT workers have experienced being discriminated against, denied promotions or harassed simply for being themselves. Behind each of these statistics is a real person who is someone’s daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father, family member, friend or co-worker and the Network’s NCOD campaign gives everyone a chance to actively create safe spaces”.

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