Thursday represented National Coming Out Day across the globe, a day to celebrate the transparency of the LGBT community.
We want to know, why is NCOD important to you?
We spoke to a few members of Weho City Council and here are their thoughts:
"NCOD has been around for 20 or 25 years, and I think it’s as important today as it was when it was first created, although there have been some tectonic changes in the LGBT civil rights movement. I think that when people are out and proud around their family members and friends and associates, it humanizes the discussion over LGBT civil rights. It furthers the cause of equality." — Mayor Jeff Prang
"The purpose was whoever you are, come out of the closet. Be truthful and open and honest because when people know who you are as a human being, it contributes immeasurably to the cause of equality." — Mayor Jeff Prang
"In Weho and West Los Angeles, the LGBT community has significantly achieved that equality. But there are big swaths of the country in middle America where it's still difficult for people to come out, where local governments don’t protect them and their jobs and families are at risk. But the more people are out, the more the world sees of this, the safer and the better it is for all." — Mayor Jeff Prang
"Ignorance is at the root of homophobia. Coming out to others strikes at bias and hatred more effectively than laws or courts." — Councilman John Duran
"Coming out is the embodiment of the personal as the political. And the short history of 'coming out' as a political act has shown that when we do come out we render our complete selves visible and take our place, and create a place for others, in the fabric of American life." — Councilman John D’Amico
What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of NCOD? If you are a member of the LGBT community, what does the day mean to you? Tell us in the comments.