National Coming Out Day 2016: Quotes to inspire and reassure anyone worried about discussing their sexuality

The most galvanising quotes from gay or bisexual politicians, actors, musicians, leaders, members of the clergy, athletes and royalty 

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The Independent Online

Today marks the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate coming out as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) person. 

For some, coming out to even their nearest and dearest can feel like a scary task; for others, almost an insurmountable challenge. But the last year has been an excellent one for LGBTQ visibility, with a number of high-profile figures speaking honestly and forthrightly about their sexuality and same-sex relationships. 

The Independent has rounded up the most galvanising quotes from politicians, actors, musicians, leaders, members of the clergy, athletes and royalty on coming out to commemorate the day. 

Conservative MP Justine Greening

“[During Pride 2016] Today's a good day to say I'm in a happy same-sex relationship, I campaigned for Stronger In but sometimes you're better off out!" 

Justine Greening leaves Downing street as the new Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities (Getty)

Kristen Stewart

“When I was dating a guy I was hiding everything that I did because everything personal felt like it was immediately trivialised, so I didn't like it. We were turned into these characters and placed into this ridiculous comic book, and I was like, ‘That’s mine. You’re making my relationship something that it’s not.’ I didn’t like that. 

“But then it changed when I started dating a girl. I was like, ‘Actually, to hide this provides the implication that I’m not down with it or I’m ashamed of it, so I had to alter how I approached being in public. It opened my life up and I’m so much happier.” 

Mara Wilson 

“I used to identify as mostly straight. I’ve embraced the Bi/Queer label lately.

“The LGBTQ community has always felt like home, especially a few years later when I, uh, learned something about myself.”

(Getty )

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale

“I have a female partner. I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t feel I need to. And there’s something too about how meteoric my career has been. I am generally calm, almost serene. I don’t get easily stressed or battered. But I need a bit of stability to do that, and that means my private life is my private life. That’s the thing I just have to have that nobody gets to touch, and that gives me the strength to be calm elsewhere.” 

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale 

Keegan Hirst

“I had a wife and kids. I’ve been a builder, doorman, worked in factories – I play rugby. I tick every macho box. How could I be gay? I’m from Batley for goodness sake. No one is gay in Batley.

“The only time I felt free of the torment was when I stepped on the rugby pitch. Now I feel free.” 

Keegan Hirst ()

Lord Ivar Mountbatten, the first member of the royal family to come out as gay

“‘Coming out’ is such a funny phrase but it's what I suppose I did in a rather roundabout way, emerging to a place I'm happy to be. I have struggled with my sexuality and in some ways I still do; it has been a real journey to reach this point.”

(Rex Features)

Amanda Stenberg 

“It’s a really, really hard thing to be silenced and it's deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mould yourself into shapes that you just shouldn't in. 

“As someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman, I've been through it and it hurts and it's awkward and it's uncomfortable...but then I realised because of Solange and Ava DuVernay and Willow [Smith] and all the black girls watching this right now that there's absolutely nothing to change. We cannot be suppressed. We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow.”

Amandla Stenberg (Getty Images )

Nicholas Chamberlain, Bishop of Grantham

“I hope I’ll be able to be a standard-bearer for all people as a gay man. And I really hope that I’ll be able to help us move on beyond matters of sexuality.”

The Bishop of Grantham is in a long term relationship (LRSN)

Passion Pit lead singer Michael Angelakos

“I am saying something that I’ve never said before publicly. I’m gay. And that’s it. It just has to happen.”

Holland Taylor

“It’s awkward because if I talk about relationships in my life or people that have been in my life … I’d like to be able to just say that, without having to stop and say, ‘so have you come out?’ No, I haven’t come out because I am out. I live out."  

Professional skateboarder Brian Anderson

 “I'm a skateboarder first, gay second.”

Brian Anderson (Getty)

Ruby Tandoh 

“To all the bros who hate social media, who pit it against 'real life'- I never would've had the courage to be me without Twitter's queer queens.”

Michael Sam, the US National Football League's first openly gay player

“I probably may be the first but I won't be the last. And I think only good things will come from this.”

Michael Sam became the NFL's first openly gay player when he came out in February 2014 (Getty Images)

Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg 

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel waves as he poses with his partner Gauthier Destenay (L), after their wedding ceremony at Luxembourg's city hall, May 15, 2015. (Reuters )

“I could have hidden it or repressed it and been unhappy my whole life. But I told myself that if you want to be a politician and be honest in politics, you have to be honest with yourself and accept that you are who you are.”

Eva Gutowski, YouTuber 

Eva Gutowski (Getty Images)

“Just because you haven’t dated someone of the same sex does not mean you can’t be taken seriously as a bisexual. I am ready for myself to fall in love with someone, no matter who they end up being, and have been since I was 12. Boy or girl.”