What is National Coming Out Day?

The day follows marches on Washington during the 80s that occurred on Oct. 11.

"Coming out is one of the most courageous acts any LGBTQ person makes, and on this National Coming Out Day that courage remains essential to our continued progress toward full equality," HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. "As LGBTQ people across the nation and around the world continue to come out, opposition to equality will continue to crumble. Sharing our stories is a key way each of us can fight back against attempts to turn back the clock on LGBTQ equality."

The three stages of coming out, according to the HRC, are opening up to oneself, coming out and living openly.

Coming out can be a difficult time for many in the LGBTQ community, advocates say, and many organization offer counseling and support.

"National Coming Out Day has become an important holiday for LGBTQ youth. Each year around this time we speak with a great deal of young people weighing whether or not to come out to their loved ones. As many folks who have done so can tell you, coming out is a deeply personal experience, and it’s different for everyone. We work with each individual caller who is seeking support on the issue to make sure that if they do feel ready to come out, they have a plan to do so safely. We help them explore friends and family who may possibly be a support system for them. We want to make sure that young people aren’t coming out just because they feel pressured to do so by a holiday, but are doing so because they themselves have made the choice best for them," Amit Paley of CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project told ABC News.

The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, has counselors to help LGBTQ community members come out.