National Coming Out Day began in 1988 and is celebrated on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was created as a proactively positive holiday to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and boost its visibility in our day-to-day life. National Coming Out Day is also celebrated in the United Kingdom and a number of other countries.
At the University of Virginia Library, we’re so proud to have members of the LGBTQ+ community as patrons, staff, visitors, researchers, faculty, students, and more. Working to create welcoming spaces for all people is a deeply ingrained value at the UVA Library, and we appreciate all of those who help us move toward that vision.
Below are some LGBTQ+ resources you can find in the Library’s collections to deepen your knowledge, your understanding, and your research.
- Archives of Sexuality and Gender: A collection of primary sources documenting how views of sex, sexuality, and gender have changed from the 16th century to the present. The archive’s oral history transcripts, diaries, and letters provide a deeply personal and human interpretation of the LGBTQ experience.
- LGBTQ+ Source: Scholarly and popular LGBTQ+ publications in full text, plus historically important primary sources, including monographs, magazines, and newspapers. It also includes a specialized thesaurus containing thousands of terms. Search LGBTQ+ Source here.
- Queer Pasts: A collection of primary source exhibits for students and scholars of queer history and culture. The database uses “queer” in its broadest and most inclusive sense, to embrace topics that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender and to include work on sexual and gender formations that are queer but not necessarily LGBTQ.
- Celebrate Pride all year round with recommended books, podcasts, and movies from UVA librarians: 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Whether you’re navigating your own coming-out journey, or wanting to support others, here are some external resources to learn more and find a helping hand.
From UVA’s LGBTQ Center:
“Coming out can be a complex and challenging process — the LGBTQ Center and our on-Grounds partners are here to support you. There is no one right way to come out. It’s a lifelong process of being ever-more open and true with yourself and others — done in your own way and in your own time.”
From the Human Rights Campaign:
“Sharing our authentic selves with others is not always safe or easy, and it is not a one-day event — but when possible, it can be an extraordinarily powerful key to breaking down the barriers we face as LGBTQ+ people.”