Debunking Common Misconceptions on the First National Coming Out Day

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You may not know this, but National Coming Out Day, celebrated on October 11, has been around for more than 25 years.

In 1988, for the inaugural holiday, Oprah devoted a full episode to the topic of coming out. During a very moving hour of live TV, gays and lesbians came out to their families, friends and colleagues for the first time. In some instances, audience members who had come out to their families at an earlier point expressed hope that they would reconnect with them.

An audience member named Michael said that after he first came out to his parents, they rejected him. Then, little by little, he said, he saw changes in their behavior. In the video above, Michael and Dr. Robert Eichberg, who helped establish National Coming Out Day, debunk some of the public's misconceptions about coming out.

Original airdate: October 11, 1988