#ComingOut

Karina Manta Joined Her Ice Dance Partner Joe Johnson In Being Openly LGBTQ Athletes

America's first openly LGBTQ figure skating team is out making us proud.

On September 30, 22-year-old American ice dancer Karina Manta came out as bisexual. She did so in a YouTube video in which she, sitting next to her girlfriend Aleena Gomez, sang a cover of Vance Joy’s “I’m With You.”

The message behind the video was that Manta has been supporting the LGBTQ people because she's one of us, according to the Advocate.

Manta is now the first openly queer female figure skater to compete for Team U.S.A, and only the second openly out women in the world to skate in an upper-level competition (after Japan’s Fumie Suguri).

On top of that, Karina Manta’s partner is Joe Johnson, an openly gay man himself. This means that the two are the first recorded ice dancing team made up of two openly queer athletes.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Karina Manta (@karinamanta) on

Just three weeks after Manta came out, she and Johnson started their participation in the 2018 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series in Everett, Washington.

Adam Rippon even cheered for the two as they participated at Skate America last month tweeting, “I love my gay parents.”

For Karina Manta, coming out gave her new opportunities and possibilities. Namely, she could finally acknowledge her relationship. In the coming out video, she expressed her regret at having to hide her girlfriend for so long.

"I have dragged you back into the closet with me, and we all know closet is much too kind a metaphor," she said. "Call it a prison cell; call it a lifelong panic attack; call it being buried alive. Call it the nightmares I still get sometimes, the ones where everyone who wouldn't approve suddenly shows up as I'm kissing you."

But now that she’s out, Karina Manta has a whole world of possibilities before her. Not only can she openly experience Skate America with her girlfriend, but she can act as representation for younger athletes and LGBTQ people as well.

As she told the Advocate:

"It was nice to be on this stage knowing that there might be younger skaters, younger girls watching, and seeing that maybe they don't have to fit certain stereotypes [with me] being there with my hair all short and my girlfriend in the audience."

Skate America is still ongoing and we can't wait to see what Karina Manta and Joe Johnson can do.

h/t: The Advocate

'Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Actor Gets Jacked AF For Stunning Dance Sequence

Regular viewers of FX's It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have noticed this season that the character of ‘Mac,’ played by series creator Rob McElhenney, has been looking a bit different this season.

Wednesday’s night’s season finale revealed Mac’s super-jacked body, but also the reason why.

In the episode titled, “Mac Finds His Pride,” McElhenney performs a jaw-dropping modern dance in order to express his coming out to his father.

The character came out to friends in 2016, but hasn’t been able to find the words to open up to his father.

Vulture sets the scene:

In the finale, Frank (Danny DeVito) is trying to convince Mac to prance on the gang’s gay pride parade float, but Mac isn’t feeling it. In his own way, Frank tries to help: “I never really got you and, to be honest, now that you’re gay I get you even less. Nothing against it, I just don’t get it.” Nevertheless, he vows to help Mac find his pride, which involves coming out of the closet to his imprisoned father, Luther (Gregory Scott Cummins).

But Mac can’t open up to his father, at least, not with words. Which is a good thing because if he did, it would sound something like what he threw at Frank when he tried to explain his internal struggle: “There’s like this storm inside of me and it’s been raging my whole life, and I’m down on my knees, and I’m looking for answers, and then God comes down to me and it’s a very hot chick and she pulls me up and we start dancing.”

The episode ends with a dance that literally brings that raging storm to life as he performs a modern dance in the rain for his father and fellow prison inmates.

DeVito’s ‘Frank’ watches the performance in awe. As the dance comes to a close, he says, “Oh my god, I get it. I get it.”

The stunning dance sequence, which also features gorgeous work by professional ballerina Kylie Shea, took seven months of development, training and rehearsals before the cameras even began rolling.

For one thing, McElhenney has never danced before in his life.

And, in order to become ‘Fat Mac’ for season 7 of Sunny, he had to gain 50 pounds of fat. Now, he needed to drop all that and get into shape just to be able to approach the movement and partnering that would be required.

 

Working with trainer Arin Babaian, who worked with Channing Tatum on Magic Mike, McElhenney began a regimen that consisted of no alcohol, no eating after 7PM, no carbs or sugar, lifting weights six days a week, stretching an hour a day and running three miles every day.

And that was before he started working with choreographers Alison Faulk and Leo Moctezuma.

It would take two and a half months of rehearsals to develop and finesse the dance.

“Rob came out of the writers room saying he wanted it to represent the struggle, the push and pull, and that helped Leo and me to put the choreography together in a way that showed vulnerability and strength,” Faulk tells Vulture. “The woman represents the light and the good and everything pure and amazing — and he’s the dark. So it’s basically a giant metaphor for being able to love and accept yourself.”

Finally, the day of reckoning came.

After shooting for 12 hours, director Todd Biermann says that most of what the TV audience sees was from the last three takes.

Bravo to McElhenney and all the contributors. This writer has been a professional dancer for almost 40 years. Trust me when I say, this is an amazing achievement.

Watch the emotionally charged dance as it closes season 13 finale of Sunny below.

 

 

(h/t Vulture)

Newly-Out 19-Year-Old Wins Final Season Of 'Big Brother UK'

The final winner of Big Brother UK is 19-year-old vlogger Cameron Cole, who came out as gay last month after another male contestant shared that he had a crush on Cole.

Cian Carrigan, another houseguest, spoke openly about having a crush on Cameron and it left the 19-year-old unsettled. Cameron eventually came out to fellow housemate Lewis.

 

 

That led to the highly emotional moment when Cameron came out to all of his housemates:

 

 

Which brings us to the big moment when Cameron found out he’d won Big Brother UK 2018:

 

 

As the announcer called Cameron to leave the house, his journey to exit the now-still house was almost surreal:

 

 

Cameron dedicated his win to LGBTQ folks in a statement to Digital Spy:

“It means the world. It makes the whole four years of trying to work and figure things out kinda worth it, the fact that I’ve finally been able to help some other people through, if I have done, through that themselves. It’s amazing.

“Honestly, I’m privileged to have been able to do it. I didn’t plan to do it, but it’s an incredible feeling to know that I helped people out. It’s made everything worth it. I hope that it has inspired people as much as possible. Lots of people come out every day and they don’t do it on national television.

“They don’t get the reception that I’ve got, but they all deserve it because it’s an incredible thing and me winning is as much for them as it was for me. It’s an incredible honor and privilege to have the support that I have. I’ll never be able to stress how grateful I am for it.”

Cameron later shared his thanks with the world:

 

 

Channel 5, the producer of Big Brother UK, announced this would be the final season of Big Brother UK.

(h/t Queerty)

A Difficult Journey From Neo-Nazi to Coming Out as a Trans Woman, Caught Between Two Worlds.

I've bled my Facebook friends list dry of Trump supporters except for one person, a former work wife.  I know I've been removed from others' lists because of my political as well as LGBT posts since I don't see several people anymore on some of my game lists and that is fine, too.  Trump has been one of the more polarizing political figures in American History.  The people that blindly support him on anything he says will never be ones I care to associate with ever. Now if they want to talk about specific policies and not their orange leader, I will do that. 

Would you ever reconnect with someone you have discarded because of Trump's rule over our nation? Would you give them a chance to come back into your life?

I would have to see that a drastic change had occurred in their belief system, their mentality, their humanity. 

Vice.com recently shared a story about Dajana Pospiš, a Neo-Nazi coming to terms with himself and realizing that he was a she, a trans woman.

For years, Dajana Pospiš was a member of the National Front – a far-right, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ movement that waged war on Serbia's queer community. But during a stint in prison for racial and religious discrimination, Pospiš came to accept what no one saw coming: despite being assigned male at birth, she was a woman – and she desperately wanted to transition.

After publicly coming out as trans, Dajana sought acceptance and forgiveness from Serbia's LGBTQ community – but can they make peace with her violent past? In VICE Profiles: The Ex Neo-Nazi Trans Woman, we hear from Dajana about her unique and difficult journey from being a neo-Nazi to coming out as a trans woman, in a move that left her "caught between two worlds".

That was truly a change and we would say for the better. Humanity wins over hate. 

No, my former friends, now Trump supporters would not have to come out as transgender for me to accept them.  But it does go to show that hate may have a home in some people's lives because they are hiding other things.

What would it take for you to allow people that have done you wrong, that have done our community wrong, what would it take to allow them to come back into your life?  Is it a simple apology?  Or has that bridge burned, exploded, never to be repaired?

h/t: Vice.com

Survey Compares When Gen Xers, Millennials, & Baby Boomers Come Out in Life & at Work.

Do you remember coming out?  OF COURSE YOU DO. Do you remember coming out at work?  For some of us it was just yesterday, while others it seems we have to come out over and over again every time we change a job. 

The results of a new survey that asked LGBTQ+ individuals about their experiences coming out and being an openly LGBTQ+ person are now being shared. The survey looked at fears and experiences with coming out, the ages for key milestones, traveling as an LGBTQ+ person, being out in the workplace, and more.

Coming out: The experience and related fears

In our survey, we decided to start with the basics. We asked individuals to tell us when they reached certain milestones of their experience as an LGBTQ+ person, which included the moment when they realized their identity, when they started dating as an LGBTQ+ person, when they had their first sexual experience as an LGBTQ+ person, and when they came out.

Overall, the average age a person comes out is 20.6, though our results show a notable difference among age groups. For millennials, the average age for this milestone is 18.1, around 4-5 years earlier than the average age reported by Generation Xers and Baby Boomers (23.0 and 23.4, respectively). This indicated to us that younger generations are able to come out sooner, generally after high school, than older generations did. Still, our results show that LGBTQ+ individuals don’t feel comfortable sharing their identity until 2-3 years after they acknowledge their sexuality. - bespokesurgical.com

 

Here are some of the findings:

 

  • Millennials are coming out 4-5 years sooner than previous generations. On average, Millennials are coming out after high school (18 years old) while older generations are coming out after college-aged years (23 years old).

  • 40% of respondents said they have had a negative experience while traveling as an open couple. 40% also said they decided not to travel somewhere due to its reputation as being anti-LGBTQ+.

  • 60% of respondents said a company’s reputation for being LGBTQ+ friendly is significant when deciding whether or not to work there.

  • 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ said they experience homophobia daily, primarily slurs or from religious beliefs.

How do these relate to you?  Here is how I would address the bullets.

  • I'm 44 and I came out at 24. 
  • Never have traveled as a couple
  • My main profession is higher education and I do look for a more liberal environment, although my first position was was at a Catholic institution in Maine, but there were no issues with me and my sexuality.
  • I have been fortunate and have not really experienced any homophobia.

For more info on the survey results, head over to bespokesurgical.com as well as take a peek as these infographs below.

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h/t: bespokesurgical.com

'Grey's Anatomy' Star Jake Borelli Came Out Minutes After His Character Did

Here at Instinct, we’ve been loving the new season of ABC's Grey’s Anatomy, especially with the arrival of Alex Landi as the show’s first openly gay surgeon, Dr. Nico Kim.

Here's a visual in case you haven't met the new doc:

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Alex Landi (@alexlandi7) on

 

As previously noted, in it’s 15 seasons on the air, the series has featured multiple LGBTQ characters. This includes bisexual Dr. Callie Torres, openly lesbian Dr. Arizona Robbins, and transgender intern Dr. Casey Parker.

The first few episodes of this season have introduced a flirtatious storyline between Kim and nerdy-but-totes-adorable "Dr. Levi 'Glasses' Schmitt," played by Jake Borelli, who joined the cast last season.

Schmitt, who hasn’t identified as anything but straight before now, gasped the first time he saw Kim. And in an operating room scene, he almost fainted when Kim winked at him.

After weeks of awkward conversations and missed connections, this all came to a head during last night’s episode as Kim made his move and kissed Schmitt in an elevator.

The kiss, and the moment after, are very touching. Check out this recap of the Kim/Glasses journey so far below.

 

 

The moment was so impactful, in fact, that Borelli took to his Instagram shortly after the episode aired and came out as gay.

“As a gay guy myself, tonight's episode was so special to me,” he began. “This is exactly the kind of story I craved as a young gay kid growing up in Ohio, and it blows my mind that I'm able to bring life to Dr. Levi Schmitt as he begins to grapple with his own sexuality this season on Grey’s Anatomy.”

“His vulnerability and courage inspire me every day, and I hope he can do the same for you,” he continued. “To all of you who feel like little Levis out there, know that I do too, that you are seen, and that we're all in this together. And to everyone who has supported me over the years, I can't thank you enough, and I love you more than all the stars…”

 

 

Krista Vernoff, the showrunner for Grey's Anatomy, told Entertainment Weekly that the inspiration for Borelli's character and budding romance was a friend in college "who was sort of a clumsy, fumfering type who would trip over his own feet and would stutter, and then he came out toward the end of our freshman year and emerged as a completely different human being because he was living in his truth. Living in his truth seemed to set something free in him where he was no longer tripping over his own feet."

"I wanted to tell that story with Jake because it felt like a really beautiful way to evolve his character,” she added. “Then we realized we’d never done it! It was a hugely exciting thing."

I don’t know about you, but we’re totally smitten with Mr. Borelli.

If you haven’t followed Grey’s Anatomy in a while, this is a great time to check back with the folks at Seattle’s Grace Mercy West Hospital.

While we’re here, let’s peruse some of Borelli’s Instagram, shall we?

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Are you a Levi or a Nico??

A post shared by Jake Borelli (@jake.borelli) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Always flying at the crack of dawn.

A post shared by Jake Borelli (@jake.borelli) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The little ways New York reminds you you belong.

A post shared by Jake Borelli (@jake.borelli) on

 

 

 

 

 

(h/t USA Today, EW)

'Kingsman' Star Taron Egerton Might Have Just Come Out

Did Taron Egerton, the star of the upcoming Elton John biopic Rocketman, just come out?

That’s what fans are wondering after he posted a photo on his newly-launched Instagram account.

The post shows an unnamed young man with the simple caption, “Cutie. My boy (heart).”

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cutie. My boy

A post shared by Taron Egerton (@taron.egerton) on

 

Now, this could be a ‘bromance’ moment. Or, the Kingsman star might be coming out in the most chill way possible.

Even though the Instagram account is only days old (there’s a total of just five posts), Egerton already has over 100,000 followers on the social media platform.

And for the most part, those fans were supportive of the news.

“He is adorable. But is someone coming out or just bromancing”

“I really hope this is your coming out happy for you”

“Omg my if Taron is gay, my dream finally came true lol”

“the gays have won”

One commenter wrote, “does that mean he’s got a boyfriend now,” and Egerton ‘liked’ the comment.

In another playful exchange, a fan asked Egerton to tag the young man in order to reveal his identity and he responded writing, “Nah, he’s mine and mine only.”

Some folks say the truth has been in front of us for a long time.

 

 

We're guessing we'll get a definitive answer sometime, but the bottom line is if Taron is coming out as gay or bisexual, good on him.

And if the post was just a bromance thing, good on Taron for being comfortable in his own skin.

Rocketman is set to hit theaters May 17, 2019. Check out the trailer below.

 

 

(h/t Queerty)
(image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore - CC License)

Watch Ellen Pompeo Break Into Tears Talking About a Young Actor Who Used 'Grey's Anatomy' to Come Out to His Parents

Ellen Pompeo used a recent visit to the Ellen show to announce that Grey’s Anatomy will be returning for a 16th season. She says she is moved by how much the show means to people around the world even a decade and a half after its premiere.

"Everywhere I go — whether it's Italy, whether it's France, London, Kansas — the people come up to me with tears in their eyes and tell me how meaningful the show is to them,” she said.

While on the couch with Ellen DeGeneres, Pompeo also got emotional when discussing a gay actor who used

"A teenager was in the show and he was gay, and he played a gay character," she said. "After we’d filmed the whole entire episode, he said to me, '‘My whole life, I’ve watched this show with my parents, and I sort of used the show as a way to tell my parents that I was gay — and to show my parents that it's OK, that I'm not different, there's nothing wrong with me. 'Grey's' really helped my parents to understand what having a gay son meant, and that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.'"

Pompeo began to sob as she shared the next part, quoting the actor:

"'And for my parents to now see me as an actor getting a part on this show, has just been everything."'

Watch the emotional talk below.

 

 

Gus Kenworthy's Disappointed That More Athletes Haven't Come Out

Openly gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy says he wishes more athletes would come out of the closet.

While talking to Variety, Kenworthy shared his thoughts on closeted athletes in the world of professional sports.

Kenworthy talked about this topic to honor the nearly three-year anniversary of his coming out through an ESPN article back in 2015.

“I feel like most of my fears were unnecessary, and I think that tends to be the case with people who are in the closet,” Kenworthy told Variety. “I was scared because our whole income was based on sponsorships, and you get sponsors based off your image. I thought there wasn’t a place for a gay guy in my sport. There had never been one before me. I came out, and it was the opposite of what I expected. I was the most endorsed athlete at the Olympics, which was kind of insane to me.”

Kenworthy then noted how coming out ended up helping him professionally more than he ever imagined it would.

“When brands are trying to figure out which athletes to endorse, they’re like, ‘Who’s got a good story?’ They didn’t want a ton of straight white athletes who are normally the face of the Winter Olympics. Adam and I were the only two gay men. I walked into that ceremony holding his hand, knowing we were competing for the community.”

Knowing what he knows now, Kenworthy shares that he’s disappointed, though understanding, that more athletes haven’t come out by now.

“I really thought I was going to come out in ESPN and then suddenly other people would too, other skiers and snowboarders. I really thought it was going to happen, and it hasn’t. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t seem to be getting easier. But I do think that more athletes need to come out, and athletes need to recognize that they have a responsibility to come out. It’s only going to do good to have more representation and visibility.”

While we are on Kenworthy’s side of wanting more athletes to come out soon, we also have to remember, especially on National Coming Out Day, that the coming out process is an individual’s right and responsibility. Otherwise, you’ll have the negative effects of being outed like with Orange Is The New Black star Samira Wiley.

But, we look forward to the day when societal pressure won’t get in the way of actors coming out easily. We’ll be waiting in the wings with Kenworthy for that day.

h/t: Variety

Former "Orange Is The New Black" Star Samira Wiley Talks About The Time A Cast Mate Outed Her

Former Orange is the new Black actor Samira Wiley explains what it was like to be outed by a fellow cast mate.

While talking on the WNYC Nancy podcast, Wiley opened up about a hard time in her life. The cast mate mentioned her after being asked for a list of out actors in the show’s cast and Wiley says she “wasn’t out at all.” After seeing her name on the list, she admits, “I cried, I cried a lot.”

More specifically, the podcast host asked Wiley, "When you were playing Poussey, to what degree were you out?"

She then responded by saying:

“Someone from my cast, actually, they were doing an interview when they were talking about out gay actors in the cast and they mentioned my name and I saw it in print and I cried, I cried a lot."

“And I, like, tried to get it taken down and, look, I had a journey, you guys, it was not all always super open-hearted and like I’m a gay, gaymo,” she said.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Samira Wiley (@whododatlikedat) on

It wasn’t until later getting to know her character that Wiley started to become comfortable with her own sexuality being public knowledge.

“I think falling in love with Poussey, which is a real thing that happened to me, helped me fall in love with myself,” she said.

Now, Wiley is married to show writer Lauren Morelli, but she still cringes at the memory of being outed.

On this National Coming Out Day, remember that the coming out process is entirely personal. We should all be mindful of our peers when it comes to this topic and ask if one is out before ever speaking about their sexualities.

“Everyone’s journey is their own, you should be able to come out on your own terms,” said Wiley.

h/t: WNYC’s Nancy

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