SEATTLE — Monday marked the 33rd anniversary of National Coming Out Day.
Oct. 11 commemorates the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. An estimated 500,000 people marched on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and started a movement focused on inclusion and acceptance.
Seattle Pride celebrated the anniversary with a YouTube series called My Coming Out Story. The series includes testimonials from people who share their experiences coming out to family and friends.
Beau Bradley is an emergency manager in Seattle who also hosts a podcast called "Beau My God" that he said is a "unique insight into queer culture, history, and current events, centering around the perspective of a non-binary trans man."
The weekly podcast features guests like Jeannie Rak, a local singer/songwriter and busker at Pike Place Market.
"She talked about being queer and how coming out impacted her music," said Bradley.
Coming out is something Bradley has become an advocate for, as he says he actually came out more than once.
"It took me many years to come out as queer in the first place. It took more than five more years for me to realize I was actually transgender. The only thing stopping me was concern over what other people would think," said Bradley.
He said coming out can often lead to losing some relationships, as was the case for him with some family members who didn't understand.
"You can’t go wrong with being authentic and being yourself," said Bradley. "I lost some family but also gained some great chosen family."
Bradley said he found support and passion in Cheer Seattle, an all-volunteer nonprofit that supports, raises funds, awareness and spirits for the LGBTQIA+ community in Seattle.
Cheer Seattle is part of the Pride Cheerleading Association that has teams across the country. The organization provides cheerleaders for events and gatherings in order to raise money for organizations like GenPride that empowers older LGBTQ+ adults to live with pride and dignity.
"It’s cheerleading with a sharp focus on inclusion and representation," said Bradley.
National Coming Out Day is currently celebrated in all 50 states.