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It's National Coming Out Day: Press play on these Life Kit episodes

Wednesday Holmes / @hellomynameiswednesday for NPR

Updated October 11, 2022 at 9:40 AM ET

For the past 34 years, LGBTQ Americans have celebrated sharing who they are with family, friends and colleagues on Oct. 11.

Coming out is a lot different today than it was in 1988, when National Coming Out Day started. But it remains challenging and sometimes painful. And even when your friends and family are wholly supportive, being openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer can still be downright dangerous.

Today on Life Kit, we're listening back to two episodes about how to have those conversations — and how to better support the LGBTQ people in your life. We hope you'll join us.

Navigating the Coming Out Conversation

In this episode of Life Kit,Kathy Tu and Tobin Low talk us through tips for coming out — for those considering doing it, and those whose loved ones are opening up to them.

If someone comes out to you, don't take the conversation lightly. Focus on them; don't turn the conversation back toward yourself. Take time to understand what you can do for them. This moment is about them.

While today is National Coming Out Day, "coming out" isn't something that just happens once, and it doesn't end after one conversation.

If you're the one coming out, make sure to take the time you need to talk. And remember that you're the expert on your own wants and needs. If you're not ready to open up to someone — or answer questions they might have — you don't have to. You get to choose who to open up to, and when.

How To Make Your Workplace Better For Trans People — Advice For Cis Co-Workers:

The Supreme Court ruled this summer that employees can't be fired for being trans, but that doesn't mean that being openly trans at work is easy — or even safe.

In this episode of Life Kit, Tuck Woodstock talks through ways that cisgender (or cis) people can better support their trans and nonbinary colleagues at work.

If you're cis, that starts by doing your own research. It's not on your trans coworkers to answer your questions about terminology around gender identity. We've listed some resources below.

Next, you can actively take steps to make your workplace more welcoming for people of any gender. Think about ways the bathrooms, paperwork, and human resources systems at your workplace may pose obstacles for trans people. How can you make a change?

Start by using the correct pronouns for your trans colleagues. If you make a mistake, correct yourself and move on.

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