Social media empowering LGBT community to come out on National Coming Out Day 2016
By Liam Bodle & Nikki Green
11th October 2016 was National Coming Out day and was celebrated in force, especially in Manchester. Social media networks, such as FaceBook and Twitter provided a helpful platform for people to do just that. LGBT+ people not only shared their coming out stories but also confidently and proudly came out to the world thanks to social media.
Now in its 28th year, The NQ took to the streets and interviewed local Manchester students what National Coming Out Day really means to them.
Tilda Parsons, 19, a student from London said: "My brother came out recently during a family meal. Our sister was heading to South America, so he used this to come out when the whole family was together."
Sam Warden, who came out as Bisexual, said he waited for the right moment:
"The night before I couldn’t sleep. I came down to my mum in the morning before she was due to go away and told her’.
The 20-year-old student from Huddersfield added: "When she came back, it wasn’t even an issue, and I was happy being me.
"My boyfriend also recently came out Facebook, it was the most likes he ever got."
"My friend from China came out when she moved to Manchester. She said it so much easier than doing it back home," Ioana, 20, from Romania said.
Social media has played a huge part in the acknowledgement of National Coming Out Day. Snapchat used it story feature to facilitate people stories both past and new.
From the people we interviewed Snapchat and Facebook seemed to be the biggest platform to which people were made away of National Coming Out Day.
"I saw it on Facebook, people sharing their stories," Jess and Thomas both 19 and students from Manchester
"Snapchat had cool filters that my straight and gay friends were using," said Jade Lawson, 19, from Manchester.
When asked to give some words of wisdom to those still struggling to come out to their families, there were mixed opinions.
"Do it! Don't waste anymore time, just do it," said Chloe, a 19-year-old student from London.
Hannah, 20 from Sheffield said:
people will accept you for who you are, just tell them and then you can live your life.
However, others encouraged people struggling to come out to take their time.
"Tell people whenever you are ready" said Thomas, 19 from Vietnam.
"There's no rush if you don't feel ready", the student added.
Coming out, however someone identifies, still matters. Whether it’s someone who’s LGBT+ or if someone knows an LGBT+ person, having a voice and a platform to express it is the strongest way to equality.