#ComingOut

Collegiate Swimmer Abraham DeVine Came Out As Gay

A 2018 NCAA champion in the 400 individual medley came out as gay in an interview with Swimming World magazine.

Despite now having the confidence to come out publicly, Stanford University senior Abraham DeVine says he found it difficult to come out privately. DeVine started out by talking to his former teammate Mx Williamson. He then worked up his way to coming out to other teammates and peers.

“I’m a gay athlete. There aren’t too many of us, so when I came out to my college team, that was a really tough time for me,” said DeVine.

He then added:

“I remember that being a pretty emotional time, and just feeling my whole team wrap around me and feeling that love in a place where I hadn’t really felt it, that was definitely pretty special for me,” DeVine said. “Just seeing them kind of prove me wrong was definitely special, something I’ll never forget.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He continued:

“Growing up gay in any sport is definitely tough. There’s a culture that is created in a lot of sports where being gay is an insult. It’s something that gets tossed around and makes you not want to go to practice or not want to hang out with the team or be a part of the team.”

Now that he’s cleared himself of any fear of coming out, DeVine can focus on the sport that he loves.

In fact, the Pac-12 Swimmer of the year shares that he’ll be competing to qualify for the 2020 Olympic swimming team.

We wish him luck.

Professional Golfer Tadd Fujikawa Comes Out As Gay In An Open Letter About Suicide Prevention

We have news of the first professional golfer to come out as gay.

Professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa is a native of Hawaii who gained acknowledgement in the world of golf after qualifying for the U.S. Open in 2006. The following year, he became the youngest player in 50 years to make the weekend cut for the Sony Open. He was only 16-years-old.

In the following decade, Fujikakwa has continued on in the world of golf, and has used that platform to talk about personal issues such as his battle with depression and anxiety, according to Golf Digest.

And now, 27-year-old Fujikawa has opened up even more by sharing that he is gay.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Fujikawa made this announcement yesterday on Instagram by posting an open letter in honor of world suicide prevention day.

“So…I’m gay,” he wrote, “Many of you may have already known that.”

The athlete then went further to write about his experiences of coming to terms with his sexuality.

“I’ve been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I’ve struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I’m standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone’s life.”

Fujikawa then went on to say how he wants to focus on helping younger LGBTQ people who are still struggling with their sexualities, living in hostile environments, and considering suicide.

“As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality.”

He later added:

“If anyone out there is struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE ENOUGH…AS IS, EXACTLY AS YOU ARE!”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

*PLEASE READ* Coincidentally, today is world suicide prevention day. However, I was going to share this regardless. So...I'm gay. Many of you may have already known that. I don't expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another. I've been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn't need to come out because it doesn't matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other's stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I've struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I'm standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone's life. Although it's a lot more accepted in our society today, we still see children, teens, and adults being ridiculed and discriminated against for being the way we are. Some have even taken their lives because of it. As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality. Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not, we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves, whatever that may be. It's the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations. I don't want this to be focused on me. I just want to spread love and acceptance to others who are in a similar situation. If anyone out there is struggling, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE ENOUGH...AS IS, EXACTLY AS YOU ARE! I can't wait for the day we all can live without feeling like we're different and excluded. A time where we don't have to come out, we can love the way we want to love and not be ashamed. We are all human and equal after all. So I dare you...spread love. Let's do our part to make this world a better place.

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This New York Teen Came Out At His High School Graduation (And The Crowd Went Crazy)

18-year-old Shankar Lal is starting to get some attention on his Instagram account. Why? Because of a video from two months ago.

Earlier this year, Lal decided it was time for him to come out. He first did so by speaking privately to his family, which went… ok.

While his family didn’t outright reject them, he told Buzzfeed News that they were also “concerned and taken aback.”

"I approached this situation as an opportunity to educate them," he said. "I tried my best to teach them about LGBT people and culture."

With that job done, Shankar Lal took on the next step. Coming out to his school. And what better time to do that than at graduation?

This past June, Lal graduated from the Media Arts & Music program at Hillcrest High School in New York. It was at his ceremony that he left a lasting impression on his now alma mater.

"I decided that I wanted to come out at graduation a month before it actually happened," the recent grad told BuzzFeed. "I remember shopping at Target and seeing all the pride gear. I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be crazy if I just whipped out a pride flag at graduation?"

Thankfully, someone recorded the stunning moment.

 

we love a good reveal #classof2018 #pride #loveislove #lgbt #pridemonth #dragrace

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"The response was insane," Lal said. "I walked across the stage with my pride flag over my shoulders and suddenly everyone started cheering for me. I remember hearing my principal and teachers tell me they were proud of me."

“There was so much love in that room. It was amazing. Even on social media, I had so much love and support. Coming out on graduation was definitely one of the proudest moments in my life.”

h/t: Buzzfeed News

Lawyer Opens up About Aaron Hernandez

Back in 2013, the tight end for the Patriots was arrested in connection to the murder of his fiancee's sister's boyfriend, Odin Lloyd. In 2015, he was convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison. According to Newsweek, Lloyd had called Hernandez what he interpreted to be a gay slur and Hernandez feared Lloyd would out him as a bisexual. In 2017, he was also charged in a separate double homicide case but was acquitted of those charges. After the acquittal, the rumors of his bisexuality were discussed and even joked about with The Kirk & Callahan Show going as far as saying he was a "tight end on and off the field" who "became a wide receiver." Several days afterwards, he was found dead in his prison cell; the death ruled a suicide.

In his lawyer's new book, Unnecessary Roughness, Jose Baez discusses how Hernandez opened up about his affair with a man just before he killed himself. Baez said that as they were discussing their strategy, Hernandez broke down crying out of fear that his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, would find out about this relationship with a man. On the topic, Hernandez said:

"She'll be devastated. I never meant to hurt her. I know I keep disappointing her. But she is my soul. She is all I have and will ever have."

Baez said that he seemed hopeful so the next day he talked to Jenkins. He said she was not shaken but he "could see the betrayal in her face." Jenkins wrote the forward for Baez's book and said she had no idea Hernandez was "gay or homosexual." She wrote:

"There has been much speculation about Aaron's sexuality since his death. I can say this: Aaron was very much a man to me. I saw no indication that he was gay or homosexual. I wish I had known how he felt, just so we could have talked about it. I wouldn't have disowned him. I would have been supportive. I can't fault him if he was feeling that way."

 It is understandable that Hernandez would have wanted to remain in the closet given his place in American sports and in an overall hyper-masculine environment. Another one of Hernandez's lawyers said "I think he also came out of a culture that was so negative about gay people that he exhibited some self-hatred." reminding us that in the end, inner-homophobia can be as dangerous as outward homophobia.

h/t: lgbtqnation.com, oxygen.com

State Rep. Shevrin Jones Is Living His Truth As Florida's First Openly Gay Black Lawmaker

Shevrin Jones is at the top of his game within the political world.

He is a state representative within the U.S. state of Florida, he’s won that position three consecutive times, he is highly respected by his peers, and he’s even been whispered as a potential lieutenant governor pick if politician Gwen Graham wins the Democratic nomination next week.

But Jones has just decided to add to that list by becoming the first openly Gay Black lawmaker in the state of Florida.

Jones says he’s always known that he was gay since he was in Kindergarten, but, as he told the Miami Herald, he lost his older brother last year. That loss has led to a new perspective on life.

“My brother died at the age of 34. I was like, that could have been me. I could drop dead living behind the scenes of something that could have helped someone else,” he told the Miami Herald. “I started living my truth just a little bit more.”

So how did Jones come out? It was by having his name place among Equality Florida’s list of endorsements of openly gay candidates.

“I said I don’t know if that’s the way I want to have a coming-out party,” Jones said. “Then I was like, ‘You know what, go ahead. It’s fine.’”

This change didn’t happen over night, however. While his brother’s death led him to the mindset of coming out, he had already began coming out to his family.

Not only did his beloved brother know about his sexuality before he passed, but so too did his parents and now ex-wife.

“I got married and my ex-wife — I love her. She’s amazing. She even lives in my district — she and I were friends for 10 years at school. When I married her I loved her then. But I loved her too much to continue to lie to her and lie to my family. I have to be honest.”

Jones later separated from his wife in 2012 before officially getting divorced in 2015. He now lives in Hollywood, Florida with a male partner.

It’s been a struggle to not only be openly gay but to accept his sexuality in the first place. Now, Jones hopes to lead by example for his constitutes (whether they’re gay or otherwise).

h/t: The Miami Herald

Teen Sitcom Star Comes Out As Transgender In Candid TIME Magazine Essay

JJ Totah, who most recently starred in the NBC sitcom Champions helmed by Mindy Kaling, has come out as transgender in a thoughtful and candid essay for TIME Magazine.

Totah begins by sharing she feels she’s been “shoved into a box: ‘J.J. Totah, gay boy.’”

“When I was really young, growing up in a small town in Northern California, people would just assume I was gay,” writes Totah. “On the playground, I was the type of kid who wanted to sing with the girls, not play soccer with the boys."

"Then I found myself playing that role once I got into the entertainment industry, and people kept assuming my identity," she continues. "Numerous reporters have asked me in interviews how it feels to be a young gay man. I was even introduced that way before receiving an award from an LGBTQ+ rights organization. I understand that they didn’t really know better. I almost felt like I owed it to everybody to be that gay boy. But that has never been the way I think of myself.”

Saying she’s “ready to be free,” Totah signals the readers, “So, listen up, y’all. You can jump on or jump off. Either way this is where I’m heading.”

“My pronouns are she, her and hers,” the 17-year-old states definitively. “I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah.”

Totah shares that she remembers all the way back to the age of five wishing she were a girl. But it was seeing the docuseries I Am Jazz, about transgender activist Jazz Jennings, that made it clear who Josie really was.

Watching Jazz Jennings' story unfold, Josie says she turned to her mother and declared, “This is me. I’m transgender.”

Fortunately for Josie, her mother was immensely supportive and said, “Okay, let’s do it.”

In three days time, Josie had seen a specialist who put her on hormone blockers.

Throughout the essay, Josie shares many of the same fears most trans people do: difficulties in changing ID documents; not being allowed to use a restroom that aligns with her gender identity; concerns that living authentically as trans could limit her; and being scared that she’ll be judged or rejected.

Even with all that in the mix, she says when friends and family call her Josie, “it feels like I’m being seen.”

Josie brings the essay to a close writing about upcoming college this fall and plans to continue acting.

“I plan to play roles I haven’t had the opportunity to play,” Totah writes. “And I can only imagine how much more fun it’s going to be to play someone who shares my identity, rather than having to contort myself to play a boy. I’m going to gun for those roles, be it a transgender female or a cisgender female. Because it’s a clean slate — and a new world.”

Make sure you click over to TIME and read the full essay. Well worth your time.

Mindy Kaling tweeted her support to her former teen star writing, “I love you, Josie. I’m so glad you’re able to speak your truth and live as your authentic self. You’re also so damn talented – I can’t wait to write for you again!”

 

 

Here's Josie being honored earlier this year by the Human Rights Campaign with its Trailblazer Award in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

 

Although the series was cancelled in June, check out the original trailer for the series, Champions, below.

Big congrats to Josie for living your life authentically as you are!

 

 

Heartthrob Garrett Clayton Came Out And Says He Has A Lover

 

Gay men have turned their heads for actor Garrett Clayton many times in the past few years.

The Teen Beach Movie, King Cobra, and Hairspray Live actor has made a name for himself by being a young and handsome man. He’s literally done so by taking on roles that mirror gay porn legend Brent Corrigan and 1960s heartthrob archetypes.

Now, the star is getting ready for the release of a new film titled Reach, and has honored it with a news worthy post. Clayton wanted to touch on the topics of suicide/school shootings and how it has affected him. In order to do it, Clayton wrote an intimate Instagram post.

“With the release of my new movie REACH coming up, I thought it was important to explain why I took on this project in the first place,” Garrett wrote, “REACH deals with some very serious and timely topics that have affected me personally, and have likely influenced many of your lives as well. (I also prefer to share things that are particularly important for me here on my IG) instead of in some random magazine or online article – because you are the ones that have been rooting for me and following me on my professional and personal journey in life.”

On top of that, he coincidentally came out at the same time by nonchalantly name dropping tv writer Blake Knight as his longtime boyfriend:

“When I read the script for REACH, I immediately knew it was a film I had to be a part of. I have personally dealt with suicide within my own family, intense bullying in high school, and – on top of it all – myself and the man I’ve been in a relationship with for a long time (@hrhblakeknight) have both experienced shootings within our hometown school systems, and have witnessed the heartache that takes place in affected communities after such tragic events. These topics – not always easy to discuss- are all close to my heart, and, knowing how serious they are, I wanted to share this with you all. This film has come from the perspectives of people who care deeply about these issues, and if watching it helps even one person… then it was all worth it.”

 

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We’re happy to see that Garrett Clayton is not only sharing the fact that he’s in a gay relationship, but doing it in such a natural way. It reminds us of Kevin McHale during his saga of relaxed coming out posts.

While this probably doubled as a publicity stunt for Reach, Garrett Clayton had to know that blatantly mentioning his male romance in the post would get the project publicity, it ultimately doesn't matter to us. It was a cool and smart move, so we’ve got nothing but props for Clayton.

Congrats on the upcoming project and the relationship!

Air Force Athlete Bradley Kim Came Out On Instagram

Bradley Kim is joining the growing ranks of openly gay academy and college athletes.

Kim is a safety for the Air Force football team, after sustaining a shoulder injury, and he’s recently come out as gay, according to OutSports.

Kim decided it was time to share that he was gay and did so with as many people as possible. First, he told his parents, then he told friends and classmates at the Air Force Academy, then he individually told teammates on the Air Force’s football team before he then told various coaches, and lastly he told his fellow defensive backs on the team.

After all that, Bradley Kim decided to come out publicly through an Instagram post.

“God made me this way for a reason,” the post started. “I did not think this day would ever come, but I’ve finally reached the point where I am comfortable and confident enough with myself to say that I am gay."

After that, Kim talked with OutSports about why he wanted to come out.

"The biggest reason I want to share this is to be able to reach people who are in similar situations struggling with the same things I have struggled with,” he said. “I want to be that example for kids that you can be gay, you can pursue your dreams, and you can have an athletic career.

“My dreams got me to a D1 football program. I want to be there for people who don’t feel like they have anyone there for them, because I was that kid growing up in high school.”

Kim, who is half-Korean and half-German, is a sophomore at the Air Force Academy. After he graduates, he’ll move on to serve the military. Then once his service is done, he hopes to pursue a career in music.

Congratulations to Bradley Kim and best of luck in all your endeavors.

h/t: OutSports


Update 7/28/2018: Unfortunately, it looks like Kim decided to make his Instagram & Twitter accounts private, so the post in which he came out has now been blocked to the public.


Update 7/30/2018: It seems that Kim has made his Instagram account public again. After viewing the comments in his coming out post, we can see why he chose to make it private. The poor guy is being hounded by homophobes. If you have a minute, go send love and support his way.

Model Derek Chadwick Talks About Coming Out As Gay

Model and actor Derek Chadwick is featuring on the August issue of Gay Times for a very special reason.

The social media star, former Urban Outfitters model, and aspiring actor is giving us his thoughts on the coming out process.

Chadwick started opening up about his sexuality on Instagram and Youtube months before, but he's now sharing with Gay Times how his life has changed since then.

“I would identify now as gay… I think I realized vaguely at school that I was gay, like officially. There was a point that I just knew,” he told Gay Times. 

“I have a very private life, and because I haven’t been out, I’ve been nervous about people seeing my personality because I didn’t want them to jump to conclusions about me without knowing my whole story.

“It’ll allow me to be more personable on social media. I’ll be able to post more on my stories and videos on Twitter… it’ll allow me to stand up on the stage in front of the LGBTQ community and not feel so pressured about, ‘Oh my God, I wonder they think of me’, or, ‘I wonder what they’ll think of me’.”

 

sweet

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Outside of no longer worrying about what others are thinking about him, Chadwick hopes that opening up more about his sexuality, and the many avenues that are affected by it, will help others living similar truths.

“Coming out in this way allows me to use the privilege that I have to help other people who don’t have that. The opportunities that I’ve been given to have a voice,” he explained.

“I feel like that was the main reason why I wanted to do this cover. I want to be the person that’s at those rallies and events advocating for people and anybody. I never felt that I could do that unless I did this, and I think this is a major way for people to see visible queer people.”

You can pre-order the August edition of Gay Times here.

 

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maliboo

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h/t: Gay Times

Grandson of Singapore’s Founder Lee Kuan Yew Comes Out As Gay

The late Lee Kuan Yew will go down in history as the founding prime minister of the increasingly successful city-state of Singapore. Back on September 16, 1963, Lee Kuan Yew declared the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. He then remained the ruling prime minister on August 9, 1965 when Singapore split from Malaysia and became its own Republic.

Now as the Independent reports, Lee Kuan Yew’s grandson has very publicly come out as gay.

Li Huanwu, a 31-year-old who works as a general manager, came out earlier this month through a feature with the magazine Out in Singapore. Together with his 27-year-old veterinarian partner named Yirui Heng, Li Huanwu not only came out of the closet officially, but he also asked others to support the annual Pink Dot event.

The Pink Dot event is Singapore’s most popular Pride and LGBTQ rights events that happen every year. The name comes from the event of attendees dressing in pink and gathering to form a “pink dot” to show support for inclusiveness, diversity, and the freedom to love.

Of course, Pink Dot holds many other events such as musical performances, a parade, educational seminars, stores/venues, and much more.

That said, this isn’t the first time that Li Huanwu has supported Pink Dot. He has openly spoken out for the need to support that LGBTQ Pride event on Facebook before.

That said, Li now has a bigger platform to support the event thanks to eyes being on him post-coming out.

As for his late grandfather, Singaporean founder Lee Kuan Yew would have been wholly supportive. Lee consistently stated his support of homosexuality during his time on Earth by saying it was a genetic variance and that homosexuals shouldn’t be persecuted.

As Lee Kuan Yew said at a PAP Youth Wing event in 2007:

“This business of homosexuality. It raises tempers all over the world, and even in America. If in fact it is true, and I’ve asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual, because that is the nature of genetic random transmission of genes. You can’t help it. So why should we criminalize it?

“But there is such a strong inhibition in all societies – Christianity, Islam, even the Hindu, Chinese societies. And we’re now confronted with a persisting aberration, but is it an aberration? It’s a genetic variation.

“So what do we do? I think we pragmatically adjust…”

h/t: The Independent, OUT in Singapore

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