Embracing Identity: Celebrating National Coming Out Day in New York

Embracing Identity: Celebrating National Coming Out Day in New York

October 11, 2023, marks an important date in New York and across the nation: National Coming Out Day. This day holds significant value for the LGBTQ+ community, serving as a time to support those who are coming out and to celebrate individuals living authentically as their true selves.

Raising Awareness and Understanding

National Coming Out Day is more than a celebration; it’s an opportunity to raise awareness about the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. This day encourages conversations about the challenges and triumphs experienced by LGBTQ+ individuals, fostering a deeper understanding and acceptance in society.

Reflecting on Progress and Challenges

This year’s National Coming Out Day is particularly poignant, as it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a young man whose murder became a symbol of the fight against hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community. This anniversary serves as a reminder of the progress made and the challenges that still lie ahead.

Insights from an Advocate

Brandon Wolf, the senior director of political communications at the Human Rights Campaign, provided valuable insights into these ongoing challenges during his visit to New York. His interview, available in the video player above, sheds light on the current state of LGBTQ+ rights and the work that remains to be done.

A Community’s Resilience and Hope

National Coming Out Day is a testament to the resilience and hope of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a day to acknowledge the courage it takes to live openly and to reaffirm the commitment to creating a world where everyone can do so without fear.

The Importance of Solidarity

On this day, allies play a crucial role in showing solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. It’s an opportunity for friends, family, and supporters to stand together with those who are coming out, offering a message of love, acceptance, and unity.

Continuing the Journey Towards Equality

As New York observes National Coming Out Day, it’s clear that while much progress has been made, the journey towards full equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community continues. This day serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of advocacy, education, and the ongoing struggle for rights and recognition.

Celebrating Diversity and Authenticity

National Coming Out Day is not just about the struggles; it’s also a celebration of diversity, authenticity, and the freedom to be one’s true self. Events across New York City and beyond provide spaces for joy, reflection, and community, reinforcing the message that everyone should be proud of who they are.

In conclusion, National Coming Out Day is a significant occasion in New York and across the country, symbolizing the journey of the LGBTQ+ community towards acceptance and equality. It’s a day of support, awareness, and celebration, reminding us all of the importance of living authentically and embracing diversity in all its forms.


NewFest – a look into the future of cinema

NewFest – a look into the future of cinema

NewFest, New York’s prominent LGBTQ film festival, has marked its 35th anniversary with a flourish of cinema that nods both to its rich history and a future full of promise. In the span from October 12th to the 24th, film aficionados congregated in Manhattan and Brooklyn to partake in the celebration and exploration of queer storytelling through the silver screen.

This year’s edition unfurled an impressive lineup including Netflix’s biopic “Rustin” and Searchlight Pictures’ “All of Us Strangers,” underpinning the festival’s growing allure for studios and distributors. It’s a testament to the unique energy and audience reach that NewFest encapsulates.

The festival’s opening night was graced by Emma Fidel’s “Queen of New York,” a fusion of drag culture and New York’s political scene, and it concluded with the world premiere of Daniel Peddle’s “Beyond Aggression: 25 Years Later.” Films like Andrew Haigh’s “We Are All Strangers” and the debut documentary “Orlando: My Political Biography” by Paul B. Preciado have also garnered acclaim, with the latter being hailed as a “trans masterpiece.”

Notably, Todd Haynes’ “May December,” starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, echoes the festival’s ethos by examining the depth of queer narratives. Haynes, a long-celebrated figure at NewFest, was honored with the Queer Visionary Award, reinforcing the festival’s role in championing LGBTQ creatives.

George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin,” with Colman Domingo portraying the gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, is particularly poignant, aligning with the 60th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. It’s Wolfe’s inaugural feature at the festival, a space shared with other first-time NewFest directors like Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and Hirokazu Kore-eda, whose films “Nyad” and “Monster” respectively, have attracted global attention.

William Oldroyd’s “Eileen” stands out as a much-anticipated narrative, weaving the tale of two juvenile detention co-workers, portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie, in a complex sapphic storyline.

The festival’s programming ethos, curated under the guidance of Nick McCarthy and David Hatkoff, transcends the transient trends of cinema, seeking instead to present authentic portraits that resonate with a diverse audience. Their approach has not only stabilized NewFest’s financial footing but also expanded its reach and audience.

While the industry faces challenges, from the profitability of film festivals to strikes that could impact future productions, NewFest stands as a beacon of resilience and optimism for the future of queer cinema.

And for those who missed the in-person magic, NewFest35 offers an encore with a virtual award ceremony, available from November 17 to December 28, extending the celebration of queer film excellence.