(NEW YORK) -- Twenty-five years ago on this date, half a million people participated in a historic march on Washington, D.C., for gay rights.
Fired up from the march, organizers found a way to keep the march alive. The first National Coming Out Day was celebrated on Oct. 11, 1988.
The goal of the day is for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies to celebrate coming out and encourage those who haven't to make their voices heard.
"It's a day to be visible," said Candace Gingrich-Jones, associate director of youth and campus outreach with the Human Rights Campaign.
"What we know today is people who know someone who is queer are much more likely to understand the issues of inequality and be supportive of the work to gain that equality," she said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio