“Change will never happen when people lack the ability and courage to see themselves for who they are.” – Bryant H. McGill
Coming out is not only a critical component of a LGBT individual’s well-being, but of the well-being of the entire LGBT community. Studies show that voters are more likely to support gay rights when they know someone who is gay, as illustrated by this U.S. News and World Report research:
“In a 1993 U.S. News and World Report poll of 1,000 registered voters, 53% said they knew someone who is gay of these, 73% supported equal rights for gays. 46% said they do not know someone who is gay or lesbian; of these, 55% supported the same rights.”
The results of this more recent Gallup poll from May 2009 also show a strong correlation between the number of Americans who support gay rights and the number of Americans who actually know members of the LGBT community. For example, 40% of Americans nationally support gay marriage. This statistic rises to 49% when the subjects know LGBT individuals, and falls to 27% when the subjects are unfamiliar with LGBT individuals.
In order to demonstrate the importance of being out, EV recognizes the achievement of LGBT individuals for their contributions towards equality. These honorees are Virginians who have made a mark. Some are activists whose courage and dedication have influenced our movement. Others are LGBT elected officials, entertainers, or business leaders who have achieved great success. Click here to view previous honorees.
Resources for Coming Out
Women’s Coming Out Support Group
Meetings are from 7:00pm to 8:30pm on the first Monday of the month at the Gay Community Center of Richmond (GCCR), 1407 Sherwood Ave. Richmond VA. Whether you are newly out, still coming out, have been out for a while, or are questioning — please come join this great group of women for an open discussion of the coming out process. All are welcome! In the event of questionable weather, please contact Martha Ann Spruill (contact information listed below).
Contacts: Loretta Mountcastle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 804-291-8676 or Martha Ann Spruill, email@example.com, 804-405-0939. Sponsored by Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond (MCC) and The Gay Community Center of Richmond (GCCR).
Human Rights Campaign
As the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBT Americans, the Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. Founded in 1980, the HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office, and educates the public about LGBT issues.
HRC’s Coming Out Project | HRC’s Resource Guide to Coming Out
Housing & Mortgages for Gay & Lesbian Couples
This guide will help to explain the different approaches that couples can take to get a home mortgage. Gay and Lesbian couples are in a unique situation when it comes to mortgages and home purchases. The problem lies less in getting a mortgage or purchasing a home than in what happens to the property if the relationship breaks up or one of the partners dies.
GLBT National Help Center
The GLBT National Help Center is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the needs of the LGBT community and of those questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity. This organization helps end the isolation that many people feel by providing a safe environment to discuss LGBT issues on the phone or via the internet.
GLBT National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564 | GLBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-PRIDE
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
PFLAG is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 500 affiliates in the United States that promotes the health and well-being of LGBT individuals, their families and friends. PFLAG also provides opportunities for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
PFLAG’s Resources for Families, Friends and Members of the LGBT and Transgender Community
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Established in 1990, GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for its positive contribution to more vibrant and diverse communities.
GLSEN’s Coming Out: A Guide for Youth and Their Allies
COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more LGBTQ parents. This organization builds communities and works toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy.
COLAGE’s Equality & Justice for People with LGBT Parents and Their Families
SIDE BY SIDE
Side by Side is dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish.
Youth Support Line: 1-888-644-4390
Shenandoah Valley YES! Alliance
A diverse organization of LGBTQ youth, allies, and families who aim to serve, educate, empower, and celebrate our community by providing a safe, youth-centered, confidential space with access to support, resources, and social opportunities within the Harrisonburg and Shenandoah Valley communities.