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National Coming Out Day 2023: HER Users Discuss the Importance of Coming Out and Offer Up Advice 

Oct 11, 2023

National Coming Out Day 2023: HER Users Discuss the Importance of Coming Out and Offer Up Advice 

Yes, babies! It’s time to C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E yourselves! National Coming Out Day is October 11 and we at HER are here with the confetti cannons to add sparkle to your special day! Much like our ever-evolving and changing community, coming out has also had a glow-up over the years. Our Gen Z users did surprise us on our most recent user survey on the topic of coming out by underlining the importance of still coming out and making it a BFD. More on that later! First a little history and context on National Coming Out Day. 

The first National Coming Out Day was in 1988 organized by the National Coming Out Day organization (which would later merge with the HRC). The acknowledgment came on the first anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Gay marriage of course became legal nationwide in the US as of 2015 (opening the door to a lot of recognized rights for couples) but, it’s not enough. More and more fascist laws and bills around gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth, drag queens and other anti-LGBTQIA+ ridiculousness still prevail. Oy. Existing in the world as a sapphic person feels heavy some days, but dang it if we are not SO HAPPY you are here, queer and out! (or thinking about coming out!). 

We surveyed our community of 13 million users on what their coming out experience has been like and what advice they have for folks who have not come out yet. Let’s get into it! 

HER’s 2023 Coming Out Day Survey results (queue the Lady Gaga!):

As predicted we found that each generation of our users is coming out earlier than the last. Our Gen Z users came out around age 15, with millennials coming out in their late teens and early twenties. What we did find interesting was the age people first suspected they may be queer. For Gen Z it was as early as 11, Millennials were starting to question around 13 years old, and Gen Xers were getting curious around age 17. 

The good news! All generations of our users who have come out feel accepted. 83.3% express neutral to positive sentiment on feeling accepted by the people they came out to. That should offer some major solace for folks who may be struggling to step out of the closet! Acceptance may come easier than you think. 

Our Gen Z users expressed the highest positive sentiment than other age groups, meaning they are experiencing higher levels of acceptance from the people around them than other generations. WHAT A TIME TO BE YOUNG AND GAY! This also speaks to how times have changed. More people are identifying as queer than ever before. According to the Pew Research Center, 17% of adults in the US younger than 30 identify as LGBTQIA+, compared to 8% in the 30-49 age range and, 5% in the 50-64 age bracket. 

As far as who people are coming out to, the top contenders were close friends at 66.6%, family at 47.5%, and on dating apps (HOLLA!) at 45.8%. 

For folks who have not yet come out (we see you and support you!) 44.4% cited being scared of how their families might react. Only 11% cited religious reasons, with another 11% saying they were worried about what their friends would think. 

We also collected coming out advice from hundreds of our users to create a 2023 “So you’re thinking about coming out” advice guide. We sorted the advice into seven main categories to get the list below. 

  1. Take your time: Coming out is a personal journey that should be taken at your own pace. There’s no need to rush; it’s essential to do it when you feel comfortable.
  2. Find support: It’s crucial to have people to lean on when you come out. You’ll need all the support and acceptance you can get.
  3. Prioritize your happiness: You are the most important person to keep afloat. Do the things that make you feel happy and the most alive authentically. Live for your own happiness, not the happiness of other people.
  4. Be true to yourself: Always remember to be honest and true to yourself. Your sexuality is one part of the amazing person you are, so don’t be discouraged if others don’t approve.
  5. Coming out is optional: Coming out is completely optional. Some people choose to come out because they feel like they’re lying by omission to people they care about, but it’s not a requirement. Live your life as safely and as honestly as you can.
  6. Prepare for different reactions: People may react differently than you expect. Some might need time to process the information, while others may be immediately supportive. Be patient and give them time to understand.
  7. Seek professional help if needed: If you’re struggling with coming out, consider seeking help from a counselor or therapist who specializes in LGBTQIA+ issues. They can provide guidance and support during this challenging time.

If you or someone you know needs some love and support coming out both The Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign have some amazing resources! We know it can feel like a lot of work but our users and team agree it’s totally worth it 🙂.

Happy National Coming Out Day from your friends at HER!


HER is the largest dating and community app designed for LGBTQIA+ women & GNC folks on the planet. HER was created by queer women for queer women and gender-diverse people. Our safe and inclusive space is perfect for connecting with fellow sapphics online and IRL. With over 13 million registered users worldwide and thriving communities in the US, UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Thailand, and Brazil, HER is the perfect place to connect with like-minded queer humans.

Evie keeps queer journalists updated about everything going on at HER. Reach out if you're doing a story on HER, Robyn, or FLINTA dating.

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