And that’s the way to come out
August 21st, 2013
August 21, 2013
Re: St. Petersburg International Film Festival / “Guest of Honor” Invitation
Dear Ms. Averbakh:
Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes.
However, as a gay man, I must decline.
I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.
Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I’ll be free to make a different choice.
Member, The ManKind Project
Miller was the star of Prison Break which ran for four seasons (2005-2009) on Fox.
Welcome out, Darren Young
August 15th, 2013
I’ll admit I know next to nothing about World Wrestling Entertainment, other than it appears to be a choreographed version of wrestling in which bravado, character, and size are very important and a lot of teenage boys seem to enjoy it. So I don’t really know what it means that Fred Rosser (performing under the name Darren Young) came out as gay today. But welcome out Fred/Darren!
Quote of the night
April 30th, 2013
Charles Barkley on Jason Collins coming out: “Anyone who thinks they never played with a gay player is an idiot.”
Yeah, that pretty much puts it in perspective.
Welcome out, Jason Collins
April 29th, 2013
Major sports has just had its first openly gay and still playing professional come out, Jason Collins. From Sports Illustrated’s May 6 edition.
I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.
I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.
My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.
I’ve played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you’re in the league, and I haven’t been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates’ teammates. Or one of your teammates’ teammates’ teammates.
I am certain that some sports fans and viewers will try and make life tough for Collins, but he seems confident, skilled, intelligent and articulate. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a supportive family, excellent political connections, and is beautiful. I wish that this step is nothing but rewarding and enriching in his life.
Welcome out, Clive Davis
February 19th, 2013
Unless your taste is limited to polka, your music has been impacted by Clive Davis. Responsible for finding or cultivating the careers of artists as diverse as Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Annie Lennox, and Whitney Houston, he has helped shape the sound of half a century.
And, as he reveals in a new biography, he’s bisexual (USAToday)
“After my second marriage failed, I met a man who was also grounded in music. Having only had loving relationships and sexual intimacy with women, I opened myself up to the possibility that I could have that with a male, and found that I could.”
Davis is currently involved with another man (who isn’t in show business), “but I never stopped being attracted to women. Bisexuality is misunderstood; the adage is that you’re either straight or gay or lying, but that’s not my experience. To call me anything other than bisexual would be inaccurate.”
Welcome out, Clive.
Pennsylvania GOP State Lawmaker Comes Out
December 3rd, 2012
Pennsylvania Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck made a few headlines over the weekend when he came out as gay, making him the first openly gay Republican state legislator in Pennsylvania. Fleck, identified as a devout Christian, first won his seat in 2006. He described his coming out this way:
Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated,” he said. “I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.”
Fleck, was an executive at the Boy Scouts of America, felt compelled to remain in the closet even though he knew he was gay. He married in 2000, but they divorced in the past year. He also tried ex-gay therapy:
“I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor, but when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest,” Fleck said.
He said the hardest part of the process has been reconciling his faith with his sexuality.
“Through years of counseling, I’ve met a lot of gay Christians who have tried hard to change their God-given sexual orientation, but at the end of the day, I know of none who’ve been successful,” he said. “They’ve only succeeded at repressing their identity, only to have it reappear time and time again and always wreaking havoc not only on themselves, but especially on their family.”
Fleck says that he and his wife remain close friends.
He will be joined in Harrisburg in January by Democrat Brian Sims of Philadelphia, who is the first openly gay candidate to run and win a state office in Pennsylvania.
Fleck is currently the only openly gay Republican state legislator in the country. But in January, he will give up that distinction when Ohio Republican Tim Brown is sworn in to that state’s House of Representatives in January.
Early reports had it that Fleck was the first openly gay GOP state lawmaker in the country, but that is incorrect. I don’t know who holds that distinction, but former Arizona Rep. Steve May came out in 1999 during a speech on the House floor. He was then discharged from the Army Reserves for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” May served as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee where he played a role in repealing the state’s sodomy law. He lost his House seat in 2002.
Welcome out, Orlando Cruz
October 4th, 2012
Boxer Orlando Cruz has announced that he’s gay: (espn)
“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself,” Cruz said in a statement after taping a spot on a Telemundo show, which will air Monday. “I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”
Five reasons why this is great:
1. Cruz is still competing in his sport. He has a fight on the 19th.
2. Cruz is no minor player. He was a 2000 Olympian (for Puerto Rico) and is currently WBO Latino featherweight champion.
3. Cruz’ official announcement will be Monday on Telemundo.
4. Cruz is doing this on his own accord and (as best I can tell) not as the result of some scandal.
5. If you have a problem with his orientation, that’s too bad. Cruz is tougher than you and can kick your ass.
How to respond when a damaging person comes out
April 1st, 2012
I have struggled with how to discuss James Langteaux. I’ve started three times in three different directions and I think the only way to get through this is to tell his story, suggest what is perhaps the best response and invite you to weigh in
Langteaux was raised in a conservative pentecostal family, went to Oral Roberts University, and immediately upon graduation began working for The 700 Club. He is also gay, a fact that seems to have gone through a number of closet stages.
I was SO far in denial that I convinced myself that I wasn’t gay. I just had this inconvenient attraction to men – exclusively. But I sure the hell wasn’t gay!
Langteaux became a power player in Christian Television, wrote a couple of books and even earned himself some cachet by being an ex-gay example. And through his work at the 700 Club, a vehicle for pushing conservative Christian viewpoints, he hurt a number of people. Mainstream Christians, people of other faiths, atheists, liberals, and gays – always gays – were portrayed with little regard for honesty and the empire thrived to praise the glory of Robertson and those who think like him.
So what advise is there to offer someone like James Langteaux? Come out of the closet, tell your story, expose the hypocrisy, and live with integrity from this day forward.
And he has. He came out, wrote a book, and offers words of encouragement to young gay people from conservative families.
But the truth is, I am finding it difficult to like this man. There’s a pinch less remorse and a punch too much self congratulations to make me think that he understands what he has been a part of.
But I am no where near ready to join Dan Avery at Queerty and pen a hate piece. For one thing, I see no value in blanket hate. I’ll criticize a behavior but should it change I consider it counterproductive not to change my response.
Yes, it is tempting to heap abuse on his head and tell myself that he deserves it. But I’m reminded of a shared wisdom that many of our philosophers have told us but we find so hard to fathom; a truth that prophets and messiahs and theologians have expounded but which churches find hard to actualize:
What we do impacts ourselves far more than it does anyone else.
I could hate on Langteaux and if he ever heard of it, it would have little lasting impact. But I would have become that guy, the one who spews hate. I could refuse to forgive him but Langteaux doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who cares what anyone else thinks. And I would become bitter and angry and resentful of any of his future successes.
So to James Langteaux I say, “Congratulation. I know you will be much happier. I hope you have the opportunity some time to heal the harm you’ve done. I wish you well. Good bye.”
Follow-up To Gay Airman Who Came Out To His Father On YouTube
September 21st, 2011
Just as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was about to be thrown onto the trash heap of history, we brought you the dramatic video a gay airman stationed in Germany as he came out to his father. In the weeks leading up to Tuesday, he had been posting videos on YouTube discussing his thoughts on coming out to his comrades, but in those videos he never showed his face. But on Tuesday, we saw him, unobscured, as he undertook the nerve-wracking task of coming out to his father over the phone, and the wave of relief that came over him as his father re-affirmed his love and pride in him.
As of this hour, his video has been seen 1,532,380 times, with 17,456 likes and 707 dislikes. ABC News followed up with Air Force Senior Airman Randy Phillips, who is stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Phillips says he feels comfortable now that he no longer has to hide:
It feels great. It’s nice not having to look over your shoulder or worry about who you are talking to, Phillips told ABC News the day after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially repealed. “I never thought I’d be so comfortable with it. It’s very supportive. Everybody’s been so great.”
…Now that “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has been repealed, Phillips, like many other enlisted men and women, can at last reveal his face, and cannot officially tell his fellow airman and commanding officers the truth. He told ABC News that he is happy that he has inspired others. He also said that now the whole family knows that he is gay.
As for Phillips’ father, he told ABC News that he was not exactly thrilled that his son put the clip on YouTube — but reiterated once again that he loves his son, and always will.
Welcome out, Graeme Obree
January 31st, 2011
Graeme Obree is a bicyclist with an impressive record (bikeradar.com)
Both Obree’s private life and his achievements on the bike have combined to make him one of cycling’s most enigmatic figures. The Scotsman claimed the World individual pursuit title in 1993 and 1995 but is best known for his innovative and pioneering attempts at the World hour record.
He claimed the hour record twice, in 1993 and 1994. The first successful, in Norway, saw him best a nine-year-old record held by Italian Francesco Moser using a hand-made bike constructed from spare parts dubbed ‘Old Faithful’. That record lasted only a week as Englishman Chris Boardman improved on Obree’s effort in Bordeaux, France during a rest day of that year’s Tour de France.
Obree reclaimed the record in April, 1994 on the same track used by his English rival after making adaptations to ‘Old Faithful’. That record was improved upon by Spaniard Miguel Indurain five months later.
But Obree’s accomplishments did not bring satisfaction. Because Obree had as issue nagging at him, one which he desperately sought to hide from himself. It led him to two suicide attempts before seeking professional help. (PinkNews)
“I was brought up thinking you’d be better dead than gay,” he said. “I must have known I was gay and it was so unacceptable.
“I was brought up by a war generation – they grew up when gay people were put in jail. Being homosexual was so unthinkable that you just wouldn’t be gay. I’d no inkling about anything, I just closed down.
“People say, ‘How can you be gay and be married and have kids and not know it?’
“But when I went to my psychologist she reckoned I had the emotional age of about 13 because I’d just closed down.”
But now the hiding is over. Obree came out to his ex-wife and children several years ago – and more importantly, to himself. Today he made his orientation public in a Scottish newspaper.
Congrats Joe McElderry, welcome out
July 31st, 2010
Britian’s 2009 X-Factor winner, Joe McElderry chose to publicly reveal his sexual orientation this week. And so far the response has been positive. (Daily Mail)
‘I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality.
‘It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.
‘Everything is going well and I’m really happy to be able to move forward from here
Here’s wishing Joe much success.
Queen Latifah discusses not discussing her sexuality
June 17th, 2010
Ok, so long as you aren’t hurting me, I’ll let you come out at your own convenience. So I’ll not speculate about Queen Latifah’s sexual orientation. I’ll let her comments to Upscale Magazine speak for themselves.
Upscale: You’ve been asked so much about your sexuality. Wouldn’t it be easier at this point to just speak on it – once – and be done with it?
Queen Latifah: I don’t have to explain anything. I don’t have to confirm anything. Look, I need my time. I need my life.
Upscale: Do you feel like you’re understood by the people closest to you?
Queen Latifah: Absolutely. I don’t feel like I need to explain things to a perfect stranger. The people who matter know. And they love me for Dana [her real name]. I don’t have to tell Joe Blow. Joe, you worry about who YOU sleeping with.
Ok with me.
Ricky Martin Comes Out
March 29th, 2010
After more than a decade of speculation, Ricky Martin finally announced that his is “a fortunate homosexual man.”
In a statement posted on his official web site, the Puerto Rican heartthrob known for his hits “Living la Vida Loca” and “She Bangs”, Martin said his announcement was prompted by his sitting down to write his memoirs:
A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside. Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And thisis something worth celebrating.
Martin went on to say that for many years, the only place where he felt he could really be himself was on the stage. But with the memoirs looming, Martin decided it was time for the unmarried father of twins to himself off the stage as well as on it:
These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.
What will happen from now on? It doesn’t matter. I can only focus on what’s happening to me in this moment. The word “happiness” takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.
I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.
Congratulations and welcome out, Ricky Martin! Now that you’re finally and officially out, you’re hotter than ever.
Coming Out Mormon
July 8th, 2009
Open Thread: National Coming Out Day
October 11th, 2008
Come on out, and tell us a little about yourself. When did you come out? And if you haven’t, what kind of barriers do you face in coming out? And if you’re out, is there anyone you still aren’t out to yet?
Comment of the Day: Coming Out Will Change The World
May 16th, 2008
We’ve got a great groups of commentors here, and I’ve noticed some real gems this past week. Maybe we should start a series. Maybe not a daily one, but you know what I mean.
If this does end up becoming a regular series, then consider this one the first installment.
In response to Timothy Kincaid’s post, Make It Personal, Kim Ridley writes:
This really works! Coming out is what will change the world.
Let me tell you a story.
I live in small town Kentucky. My partner and I (I guess she’s my fiance now. We are moving back to California in July and will be married Labor Day Weekend) hang out at a local bar. It’s redneck as hell – barfights, country karaoke, the whole deal. Everyone had always been nice to us and most people were aware we were a couple, certainly all of the people I would consider my friends. One day, a woman came into the bar, walked up to me and asked me if Kristen and I were a couple. (I’d gotten this question before, never had a negative response, and thought nothing of it). I said “yes”. She said “go home.”
Within minutes, the entire population of the bar was on their feet, forcing this woman to leave. It was Kristen and I that kept the whole thing from coming to blows, on our behalf. People I’d never really met were coming up to me and telling me that the woman had no right to say that to me. That we were welcome there. That her bigotry was not. I had people telling me that they had gay friends, gay cousins, gay brothers.
I’d never felt so accepted, so loved, in my life. Come out. Come out as a couple. It’s easy to hate faceless people. It’s hard to hate your friends.
Welcome Out, Azariah Southworth
April 16th, 2008
Azariah Southworth lives in Nashville and has been the host of the popular Christian youth show The Remix for the past year and a half. The Remix is in syndication, where it reaches more than 200,000 viewers weekly on one of three networks. Ths program has hosted such major Christian contemporary and rock acts such as Jars of Clay, Avalon, Superchick, Building 429 and Rachael Lampa.
Azariah Southworth announced today that he has come out of the closet:
“This has been a long time coming. I’m in a place where I’m at peace with my faith, friends, family and more importantly myself. I know this will end my career in Christian television, but I must now live my life openly and honestly with everyone. This is my reason for doing this,” Southworth says. …
I know I will be cut off from many within the Christian community, and if so, then they didn’t get the point of the life of Christ. I believe by me living my life honestly and authentically now, I am able to be a better person and a better Christian. We all know there are so many other gay people in the Christian industry; they’re just all scared. I was scared, but now I’m no longer afraid,” notes Southworth.
Welcome out, Azariah Southworth.
Hat tip: Scott H.
American Idol Contestant David Hernandez’ Revealing Past
March 4th, 2008
Rumors have been flying about American Idol contestant David Hernandez. And now they have been confirmed by the Associated Press:
The 24-year-old finalist from Glendale, Ariz., once worked as a stripper at Dick’s Cabaret, appearing fully nude and performing lap dances for the club’s “mostly male” clientele, club manager Gordy Bryan said Monday.
The themes of the first two weeks were Songs from the 60′s and Songs from the 70′s. If today’s theme is Songs from the 80′s, I’d like to recommend that he perform You Can Leave your Hat On as performed by Joe Cocker.
(warning: some may find Kim Basinger’s spectacular strip scene from 9 1/2 Weeks to be offensive)
You give me reason to vote
you give me reason to vote
you give me reason to vote
“Truth Wins Out” Videos for National Coming Out Day
October 11th, 2007
While ex-gay organizations, such as Exodus and Focus on the Family, love to show the wedding pictures, they never show you the divorce papers. This video is a powerful reality check and a warning for those who would marry thinking that it will help them go from gay to straight.