On #NationalComingOutDay, thousands took to Twitter and other social media to share their coming out stories, as well as what they want people to know about the process.

Past studies have shown that people in the LGBTQI community are more likely to experience depression than the heterosexual population. But some research shows that coming out can lower your chances of experiencing anxiety and depression, both symptoms of the chronic stress that staying “in the closet” can cause.

However, for many, there are barriers to coming out, such as fears for personal safety, social isolation, and harassment. These and other barriers are very real.

Here are some touching and essential things to remember as we celebrate National Coming Out Day.

1. Coming out starts from within

2. People should be allowed to come out when they’re ready, and on their own terms

3. For many, coming out isn’t just one moment — it’s an endless series of moments

4. No one has the right to come out on another person’s behalf

5. And you should only come out when you feel like you’re in a safe environment

6. Coming out can be one of the most vulnerable moments in a person’s life

7. And often one of the most challenging

8. Although, sometimes, it’s less dramatic than they might’ve imagined

9. Ultimately, coming out is about allowing yourself to be exactly who you are

10. And that, for most, is incredibly worth it

11. And, finally, your coming out can inspire others to be open about who they are, too

Kareem Yasin is a writer and editor at Healthline. Outside of health and wellness, he is active in conversations about inclusivity in mainstream media, his homeland of Cyprus, and the Spice Girls. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram.