- Facebook has released a "coming out" feature on Facebook for National Coming Out Day.
- Users can choose "came out" as a "major life event" and tell their stories.
Facebook released a new feature that helps people come out to their friends and family on social media.
Now, in honor of National Coming Out Day on October 11, "coming out" with your sexual orientation or gender is a "major life event" Facebook users can add to their timeline.
If you want to use it, just create a post and specify that the post is a "Life Event." Then go under the "Family and Relationships" category (or just "Relationships" if you're on a phone) and select "Came out." The feature includes the option to tell your coming out story and add photos.
Facebook also wants people to use the #ComingOutToShare hashtag to share their stories.
"For the LGBTQ community, Facebook is a way for you to come out, celebrate your pride and find support," Tudor Havriliuc, a vice president at Facebook, told NBC News. "Visibility is so important because it changes hearts and minds about being LGBTQ when friends and family see us living our true lives."
Havriliuc himself used the feature Thursday.
"Today is coming out day, a time to celebrate the pride of living my true self for over 20 years," he wrote in his post. "This is also a day to remember the millions of people in the LGBTQ community around the world that are still afraid to come out and love openly because they fear their families, communities or governments."
One Facebook user, Jacob Zwickler, told INSIDER he came out as gay to people close to him in April. But he made a public post to show pride about his decision to come out.
"It was a difficult journey and it took a long time for me to start being me," he told INSIDER. "If I have any friends struggling to come out to family or friends or struggling to accept themselves, they know that I'm around to talk with."
Zwickler also wanted to signal to people in difficult circumstances that it can be OK to come out, and wanted to change the conversation in his community about different sexualities and gender identities.
"I came out and I'm a Modern Orthodox Jew and I intend to continue to live that way. Our communities are amazing, but not the most accepting right now," he said. "As I continue on my journey to be more comfortable with myself, I hope to advocate for more acceptance for every LGBTQIA+ person in this community who feel ostracized."
This post has been updated.
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