Today is National Coming Out Day. It’s a day for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to be open and honest about our lives. It’s a day for all fair-minded people to stand by your LGBT friends and family and speak out about your support for equality.

Last week, I wrote about why it’s more important than ever to come out for equality this year, whether it’s on Facebook, on Twitter or in our everyday lives. More than 100,000 people have already come out for equality on Facebook, and thousands are #comingout on Twitter.

After reading my blog post, my amazing mom wrote a heartfelt email to her school nursing staff members, family and friends. Here’s an excerpt:

I am personally blessed to have a son who was able to “come out” to us his freshman year in college. I am blessed because he must have felt that he had accepted himself and could risk being accepted by his family and friends, even though I know it was very scary and he didn’t know how truly accepting all of his family would be. I am also blessed to work in a place where I can “be out” as a mother of a young gay man and not have to lie about him having a “girlfriend” and can openly discuss the jobs and lives of both of my wonderful sons, as it should be.

I am indeed blessed, but many are not.

My heart breaks thinking about the young people that have recently taken their lives because they must not have felt that they would be loved or accepted or couldn’t even accept themselves and couldn’t see a future ahead of them without pain and fear.  I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a school person such as yourself that they could have confided in or knew believed in them and maybe it would have resulted in a different ending.  I also realize that even if someone at school had supported them, it may not have been enough, but if more and more people would be open about their support for all of our youth and take a stand against bullying, then maybe it would truly feel like people cared enough about them to get them through the tough times so they could envision a future with hope and love and acceptance.

I couldn’t have said it better, mom. Shortly after she sent the email, she had already received many responses thanking her and promising to pass her message on to their school staff. I hope you will be similarly empowered to come out for equality today and continue to be a proud advocate every day of the year.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story