входит в структуру портала

Today the International Coming Out Day is celebrated globally

October 11, 2017

Every year on October 11, in many countries of the world the LGBT community, its friends and all tolerant society celebrates the International Coming-Out Day


Yesterday after the publication “Today the International Coming-Out Day is celebrated globally” Anton Basenko asked a very reasonable question in the social networks, “Can the disclosure of the fact that one is a drug user or even a drug addict to be considered a coming-out?”

The editors of MinusVirus and ECUO PLWH believe that the coming-out is an open statement by a person about certain facts of their life, which they previously did not disclose for any reasons even to their closest social circle, this is a confession, a personal story that demonstrates the strength of a person’s spirit and readiness to openly fight for their rights. In particular, the coming-out is very important for community representatives in the fight against stigma and discrimination, as well as in advocating access to a continuum of services, in connection with HIV, TB, hepatitis.

We would also note that based on the result of Assessment of the HIV treatment barriers carried out by the ECUO of PLWH in 2016 within the PARTNERSHIP project “despite certain improvements, in the EECA region the problem of stigmatization and discrimination of the KAP representatives (MSM, FSW, PWID) and the PWID in general is still very widespread”.

We would like to add the comment by Anton Basenko to this publication.

The MinusVirus site is open to constructive discussions and invites regional activists to collaborate on the resource pages to consolidate efforts to expand access to the continuum of HIV, TB and hepatitis services in the EECA region. Contact us: pr@ecuo.org.

Today is a wonderful day to openly support our friends and relatives, to speak out for ​​equality, against homophobia and discrimination to uphold a tolerant society.

The LGBT community around the world is struggling to achieve equality between all people and advocates for the protection of the rights of other communities, in particular PLWH. I believe that equality is an integral part of the harmonious development of a modern democratic society. Tolerance and honesty, first of all to oneself, are the essential features of a successful person free from stigma and prejudice. You must always, first and foremost, believe in yourself. If you stick with the opinion of the majority, consider whether you are moving in the right direction, are you playing the right role, are the people near you helping you to grow and develop? The majority is not the one who changes the world, all progress in the world is often achieved by a minority, by activists with burning hearts who prompt the world forward. Always do what you feel is right, and make the world a better place, tolerant and diverse”, says Vladimir Zhovtyak, President of the Eastern European and Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV (ECUO).

Coming-out is usually a process of open and voluntary recognition by a person of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity being different from heteronormative ones, but also is the disclosure of their HIV status, belonging to the community of PWID, SW etc. This is any open statement of a person where they want to tell the world about themselves and about a certain fact they did not speak of before. The expression “coming-out” is directly borrowed of the established English expression “coming out” – an abridged “coming out of the closet” (meaning “to go out to the light, stop hiding”).

Today we asked Gennadiy Roshchupkin, Yuri Yorsky and Armen Agadzhanov to share their coming-out stories and personal memories. That’s what they told us.

Gennadiy Roshchupkin, coordinator for the development of health systems based on the Eurasian Coalition on Men’s Health:

I was very afraid to talk about living with HIV, and I was very afraid to tell that I was gay. Both are often associated with something dangerous, filthy, indecent, unworthy … But after ceasing to hide these facts about myself, I gained more inner freedom and more respect for myself. After all, in my opinion, when person hides something about themselves, they might consider this part of themselves to be bad. But what’s wrong with being ill?

This is a health risk, and the assistance of others is important to me, so why should not I ask for this help?! What’s wrong with loving people of your gender? This does not mean hating everyone else!

People who accepted me as I am have become much closer and dearer to me. They accept and support me, and in return I want to better understand them, help them“.

Yuri Yorsky, Legal Officer of the Eurasian Coalition for Men’s Health and Expert of the Regional Expert Group (REG) of the PARTNERSHIP Program:

“I had to go through a lot of coming-outs before I was 29: I had to open up to friends, colleagues, relatives. However, I had been thoroughly preparing (as I now realize) already from the moment I was born. It took me 27 years to decide and tell her a single phrase: “I’m gay.”

It’s no secret that parents will need some time to “digest” this information, and accept that their child is not what they expected. Fortunately, my mom’s adaptation process took only a few months, and now we can comfortably talk about it (including about my partner). She always asks how he’s doing at any conversation.

I want to emphasize that after the “coming” my family relations have become even stronger and more trustful. I sincerely wish that all those who are still “in the closet” could overcome their fear, disclose their orientation and live in harmony with the world and themselves”.

Armen Agajanov, LGBT activist from Armenia and representative of ECUO of PLWH:

“When you are a member of the LGBT community − gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender – you have to make a number of coming-outs for your life. Thus, first of all I made a coming-out to myself, when I understood and accepted that I am gay. Only then I was able to make a coming-out to friends, family and acquaintances.

The process continues to this day, despite the fact that several years have passed. We have to declare, communicate about our sexual orientation, as we live in a patriarchal and heteronormative society. When everyone asks, “Do you have a girlfriend?”, it is impossible not to mare a coming-out.

Coming-outs are an important and essential part of the LGBT community acceptance and the struggle for equality. If we − gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people − will not declare that we are what we are, that we are part of our society, that we can meet communicate, work, stroll around the city, fight as everybody else does, if we do not emphasize that the society is integrated, how can we achieve acceptance and equality?”

The Eastern European and Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV has always supported and will support the idea of ​​equality and freedom for all, with the goal of ensuring the human right to health. Stigma, discrimination and infringement of human rights are major barriers to access to HIV, TB and hepatitis treatment for all who need it. Often a person simply does not seek help out of fear of stigmatization and discrimination because of their status. Everyone, regardless of the sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, has the right to live freely and in equality with all, without fear and risks. We sincerely wish that there was as much honesty and openness as possible in people’s life, so that no one felt stigma and discrimination, and the society would foster tolerance towards diverse people and become more versatile and rich.

Anton Basenko, leader of the All-Ukrainian Association of People with Drug Addiction (VOLNA): “I do not know whether the discovery of the fact that you are a drug user or even a drug addict is also a “coming-out”, but reading these stories I understand that there is no essential difference. This year is the 19-th anniversary of my coming-out to my parents! And now my “drug coming-outs”, plus the disclosure of “positive status” to friends, neighbors, relatives, media have been an integral part of my activism and active citizenship for many years. And it’s basically about the same thing − equality of rights and an adequate attitude to the PWID community. I think this holiday might fairly be our holiday too! And Gennadiy, Yura and Armen are certainly strong people!”


Coming-out Day has been celebrated since 1988. This date was established to acknowledge the large-scale March of LGBT people held in 1987 in Washington, USA. In that difficult time as much as more than half a million people went out to the streets together demanding equal rights, chanting and carrying banners against discrimination and tolerance. The song “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross became the unofficial anthem of the day.

Remember me
Lost your Password?
Password Reset