#ComingOut

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

Harry Styles To Newly-Out Fan "Congratulations, I'm Very Happy For You"

So, seriously, how much more could we love Harry Styles?

The British singer/songwriter is currently on tour and giving his LGBTQ fans tons of support throughout the concert dates.

In Philadelphia, handsome Harry saw a Pride flag being carried by a fan in the audience and asked her to hand it to him. Harry took the flag, which read “Make America Gay Again,” and held it up for the audience to see - and the crowd went wild.

The longtime LGBTQ ally has also been dedicating songs to male fans, performing wrapped in a Pride flag and rocking out during guitar solos with rainbow flags.

Now, this week in San Jose, Texas, Queerty points up an awesome moment when the pop star helped a young fan to come out to her family.

“I’m gonna come out to my parents because of you,” read a sign being held by a young fan named Grace.

Between songs, Styles gestured to Grace asking her name and where her parents were.

Clearly thrilled he saw her, Grace shared with Styles (and the whole crowd for that matter) that her mom, Tina, was in a nearby hotel.

Styles took a moment to quiet the crowd, take a pause, and loudly proclaim, “Tina, she’s gay!”

And the crowd goes wild!

Before leading the entire arena in a chant of “Tina, she’s gay,” Styles turned back to Grace and said, “Congratulations, I’m very happy for you.”

Here’s the moment via Twitter:

 

Before the concert, Grace had tweeted pics of her double-sided sign, with the caption, “I’m not expecting anything but I hope he at least sees it.”

 

Ah, but the good news doesn’t stop there.

After the concert, Grace shared the story and the video moment with her mother, who immediately accepted her daughter. 

Grace tweeted a thumbs-up pic of her mom with the caption, “I SHOWED MY MOM THE VIDEOS FROM TONIGHT. SHE IS OVERJOYED AND SAYS THAT “YES I DO LOVE YOU AND YOU CAN BE WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE” SHE WANTS TO THANK HARRY FOR HELPING ME COME OUT and she has decided to come to LA Night 1 with me :) Thank you @Harry_Styles”

 

 

Later, Grace expressed thanks to the pop star for what so many LGBTQ fans have come to feel:

“Thank you so much for creating an environment where I am proud to be who I am. Your continuous support of the LGBTQ+ has helped me come to love myself and feel safe. Thank you for tonight and I can’t wait to show Tina (my mom) this video. Love you always.”

In addition to all the LGBTQ love he’s showing on tour, Styles has been selling tour t-shirts with the phrase “Treat People With Kindness” in rainbow print with all proceeds going to GLSEN, an education organization that works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.

Rock on, Sir Harry, rock on.

(h/t Queerty)

Brendon Urie Comes Out, Announces $1 Million Donation To LGBTQ Youth

In a new interview, Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie casually comes out as pansexual. 

At the same time, he’s announced his newly launched Highest Hopes Foundation, which aids non-profit organizations that advocate support for human rights.

GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) is the first recipient of the foundation receiving a generous $1 million donation to aid in the formation of gay/straight alliance clubs in high schools.

“Launching the Highest Hopes Foundation with GLSEN as our first cause feels natural to the DNA of P!ATD, I am beyond excited to see what we can do together,” says Urie. “Some of the most inspiring leaders out there right now have come from GSAs. Working firsthand with GLSEN, student leaders everywhere, and all my fans, I want to make sure that every one of our future leaders out there has the support they need to form their own GSA and begin their work to make a better world.”

 

 

"...but I make these high heels work." #dontthreatenmewithagoodtime

A post shared by Brendon Urie (@brendonurie) on

 

A longtime LGBTQ ally, back in 2012 Urie got attention for tweeting, “Everyone’s a bit gay.” 

Then in 2013,  PrideSource asked if he still believed that everyone has some gay in them and he was clear: “I find myself being attracted to dudes all the time. I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s a beautiful man.’ There’s no shame in it; that’s how I feel. To stifle that would probably bring on stress and probably make somebody homophobic.”

He went on to say in the same interview that he would classify himself as straight but admitted to experimenting with homosexuality and bisexuality.

Speaking to PAPER Magazine today, Urie seems a bit more forthright about his view of sexuality:

“I’m married to a woman and I’m very much in love with her but I’m not opposed to a man because to me, I like a person. Yeah I guess you could qualify me as pansexual because I really don’t care. If a person is great, then a person is great. I just like good people, if your heart’s in the right place. I’m definitely attracted to men. It’s just people that I am attracted to.”

“I guess this is me coming out as pansexual,” he added.

Urie also admits that what he calls his “stage gay” behavior has made some folks uncomfortable in the past. In early concert tours, it seems he’d sidle upside his band’s guitar player and kiss him on the neck or mouth.

“I was like, I just want to kiss you bro,” says Urie. “I would hang out with friends and after five or six beers we're just kind of like smooching on each other. People just get hammered and fool around.”

Following a recent ten-week stint on Broadway in the hit musical, Kinky Boots, Brendon rejoined his Panic! at the Disco bandmates for their latest release, Pray For The Wicked, which dropped June 22. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200.

Panic! at the Disco will also donate $1 to the Highest Hopes Foundation for every ticket purchased to the North American leg of their Pray for the Wicked tour.

The band heads out on the road this month with lesbian pop singer Hayley Kiyoko as the opening act.

 

 

Happy 4th

A post shared by Brendon Urie (@brendonurie) on

(cover image via Flickr/Tarah; CC license)

Burmese Actor Okka Min Maung Came Out And Kissed His Boyfriend On Video

Burmese actor and model Okka Min Maung (otherwise known as Ye Htoo Win) came out publicly after intimate pictures of him and his boyfriend were leaked.

Earlier this week, a close friend of Maung’s leaked private photos of him. The pictures showed Maung lying in bed with his partner.

These photos quickly made their way around the internet before being picked up by local tabloids.

Then, Maung confirmed that he’s not only gay but also in a relationship through a Facebook video.

The actor/model posted the video to his official Facebook page with the caption, “With regards to my photos going viral online, here is the authentic answer.”

He then followed that up with, “I am who I am, I love who I love. I won’t give up.”

In the video, which you can watch below, Okka Min Maung talks about being open and proud, his past relationship, and his current one with his partner that later appeared in the video for a tender kiss.

While the two are currently living in New York, the news of the photo leak and the coming out video are nothing short of daring and worrying.

Maung’s native country of Myanmar (sometimes referred to as Burma in the U.S.) has an anti-gay law that could lead to anywhere between ten years and life in prison.

Section 377 of the Colonial-era Penal Code of Myanmar makes any kind of same-sex sexual act illegal. This is regardless of whether the act was between two consenting adults or not.

In addition, Myanmar is a primarily Buddhist country. While Buddhism doesn’t outright condemn homosexuality, many believe being gay is the result of misdeeds like adultery or sexual misconducts in another life.

While many fans supported Maung’s coming out, others worried for his safety or outright expressed disgust with him.

Its safe to say that Maung is being brave by coming out, and its unfortunate that he didn't get to decide when it happened.

h/t: GayStarNews

Players & Coaches High-Five Collin Martin In His First Game As Out Athlete

Last week, Instinct reported that professional soccer player Collin Martin, of Minnesota United FC, came out as gay.

“Tonight my team, @mnufc , is having their Pride night. It's an important night for me — I'll be announcing that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall,”  wrote Martin just hours before Minnesota United hosts their Pride Night playing FC Dallas.

Unfortunately, Martin didn’t get to play that night even though he had been on the field regularly for months.

Martin speculated that manager Adrian Heath might have been concerned Martin’s coming out could have been a distraction for the 23-year-old. “Maybe he thought I had a lot going on today,” he said. “Obviously, I want to play, but most importantly I just wanted us to win.”

But on Wednesday night, July 4, as Martin took to the field as an openly gay man for the very first time, he was greeted with a standing ovation as his name was announced. Fans in the stands were seen waving rainbow colored Minnesota United scarves.

 

It was a good night for Minnesota as Martin’s team triumphed over Toronto with a score of 4-3.

According to reports, after the game the entire Minnesota United crew of players and coaches congratulated Martin with high-fives and hugs.

 

Speaking to The Athletic, Martin offered a word of advice to closeted players considering coming out.

“Be proud of who you are,” he said. “Just know that after a couple more of us come out, it won’t even be a big deal at all.”

In coming out, Martin became only the second openly gay player in Major League Soccer after Robbie Rogers in 2013.

He is the only openly gay professional athlete currently playing in any of the five major pro sports (football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer) in the U.S.

Israel's Wresting Champion Nir "Rixon" Rotenberg Came Out

Israeli wrestling champion Nir Rotenberg came out as gay and the league is being completely supportive.

Nir Rotenberg, otherwise known as Rixon, came out recently and became the first openly gay wrestling champion in Israel.

Not only does the Tel Aviv resident share that he’s happily committed to a wonderful man named Ronen, but that he is raising two children through his partner’s prior marriage.

Although Israel doesn’t perform same-sex marriage, the country recognizes same-sex marriage performed elsewhere. Rotenberg shares that he plans to marry his partner and perhaps he’ll use that legal loophole to do so. Afterwards, he hopes to have kids of his own with his soon-to-be betrothed.

In addition to that, Rotenberg wants to act as a role model for younger athletes.

“I understood the extent of the responsibility and the influence that my actions have now that I am a champion, and I knew that it was time to come out of the closet in public,” he said, according to A Wider Bridge. “If I had a gay role model as a young wrestler, the fears I’ve had in the past would have been avoided.”

“My goal is to use the wrestling platform to convey messages and to create visibility and representation of the community in a field where it has not existed to date. In addition, it’s important for me to make it clear to everyone that all our successes and achievements as a community are not self-evident and that we have much more to achieve.”

Thankfully, the Israel wrestling league has been supportive of Israeli, at least from an outward glance. The league changed the logo on its official Facebook page to rainbow colors.

In addition, Nir says that he’s been supported by his friends and coaches since coming out.

Congrats to Nir Rotenberg.

 

#andstill @israeliwrestling champion! Photography: @blackbird316

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Try to Contain the Feelings As You Watch These LGBT Elders Give Some Advice to Their Younger Selves

As members of the LGBTQ+ community there are many times we may wish we had the guidance or advice from an older person who has lived through similar experiences. We are not as openly afforded the opportunities to engage in dialogue with those who have difficult coming out stories, advice for countering bullying, or getting your heart broken. In turn, many older generations may wish that growing up they had as much freedom of expression that today’s youth may have when it comes to sexuality. Perhaps the era or region they lived in was a roadblock for complete happiness and they have had to learn about love and loss through decades of struggle.

Wouldn’t it be nice that we could talk to our younger selves and impart the wisdom we have gained? Every season the contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race do this as an exercise in sensitivity. Last week we heard the top four, Asia, Aquaria, Eureka, and Kameron, talking to their younger selves begging them to never give up on their dreams and to fight through pain and anguish.

The mentoring of one another is crucial in our community. We should uplift and support one another for the sake that there may be no one else in someone’s life that could or would understand. If you think about you’ve learned in life up until this point, wouldn’t you go back and talk to your younger self if you could? Maybe it would be a warning, praise you never gave yourself, or a simple acknowledgment that you matter. Obviously, this isn’t possible, but these same words could save another person’s life. Someone who is feeling the same things or going through the struggles of identity and trying to find their place on this earth.

Digital Storyteller, Davey Wavey, collaborated with the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs, CA and created this truly inspiring video of elders in the LGBT community speaking to their younger selves.

Davey says:

While today's world is far from perfect, there's no doubt that the LGBT community has enjoyed considerable progress over the last half century. That progress, in many ways, was only made possible through the sacrifices, sweat, blood and tears of our community's elders. And yet, our LGBT elders are underrepresented and often invisible and the very community they helped to create. The reality is, our elders deserve to be seen, respected, celebrated and heard. And when we listen, they have a great deal of wisdom and advice to offer us. Whatever it is that we are going through, they've been there - and there's no need to reinvent the wheel with each generation. It's my hope that this video is a step in the transference of that wisdom from one generation to the next.

Watch this video that will speak to your mind, your heart, and that 8-year-old self wondering about the big complicated world around you:

 

 

If you could speak to your younger self, what would you say?

h/t: Davey Wavey YouTube

 

"Everything, Everything" Star Amandla Stenberg Came Out As Gay

Amandla Stenberg is coming out (again), but this time as gay.

Hunger Games and Everything, Everything actor Amandla Stenberg is sharing that she's fallen in love with a new label.

The young star has played around with several different labels since she became famous for her role in the original Hunger Games and her viral video about cultural appropriation (which came out around this time three years ago).

Before this recent announcement, she has called herself queer, bisexual, pansexual, and gender fluid. On top of that, she’s created queer-centric projects such as the short film Blue Girls Burn Fast and a cover of Mac DeMarco’s “Let My Baby Stay.”

Now in an interview with Wonderland, she’s sharing that she identifies as gay.

While you can read that interview in print now and online on Monday, Stenberg gave a hint as to the contents of the conversation in a recent Instagram post.

In the post she states, “So happy to say the words Yep, I’m Gay in official print.”

She also added, “We talk about gay sobbing, first encounters with lesbian masturbation, queer icons, Toni Morrison, disillusionment as a critical step, the art I’ve been working on, and the films that I have coming out this year.”

We look forward to giving the interview a full read.

Troye Sivan Covers BILLBOARD For Its First-Ever Pride Issue

Out pop tart Troye Sivan covers Billboard Magazine for its first-ever official Pride issue this week.

In a candid interview, Sivan opens up about coming out, the incredible rocket ship ride that is his career and how he feels being a face of the ever-evolving LGBTQ community.

“I do feel a little bit like a guinea pig sometimes,” Sivan tells Billboard. “That the world or the press or whatever is sort of using me and a bunch of other young people right now as education points, [like] we’re teaching the world about all of these different things.”

The “My My My” singer also notes that he’s in a fortunate situation to create the music he wants without much interference from his label.

“I’m lucky enough to exist in 2018 where I have a record label that’s like, ‘Write whatever you want to write.’ I don’t have to hide anything,” says the 23-year-old.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to write an album about my relationship, but in the process, be writing an album that I’m hoping is going to mean more, because I didn't have albums like that growing up.

"Just by the nature of who I am, the idea of writing openly and not watering stuff down for a straight audience ... If I’m being honest about my life then, you know, I am writing about nights like [ones in] ‘My My My!’ or ‘Bloom.’"

His songs already garner attention for their overt sexual tones. The title track for his pending sophomore album, Bloom (due out August 31), appears to be the first anthem to bottoming: “Take a trip into my garden / Might tell you to / Take a second, baby, slow it down.”

And another song on the  upcoming album, “Seventeen,” is about an older man the pop star met online. The relationship, labeled “taboo” by many, has primed Sivan to prep his eventual response to the reactions.

“I’m worried because I don’t want to ever come across that I’m condoning that or anything like it,” says Sivan. “But I felt, greater than all of those worries, a responsibility to tell that true story -- of the curious gay kid who puts himself in some kind of shady situation to find a connection, like all of us crave.”

Billboard goes in-depth with Sivan about his coming out journey which apparently began with a four-hour conversation with a teen friend at the age of 14. It was a short time later, at 15, he told his parents. 

The experience was positive says Sivan. “They leapt immediately into, ‘Are you OK? How can we equip you to deal with this?’” 

In fact, his first Pride parade became a family affair.

“They were like, ‘Oh, we’re 100 percent coming,’” recalls Sivan, smiling at the memory. “Even though it was mildly embarrassing -- I walked in the parade with my parents and my [two] brothers and my sister -- it was cool because I realized that they weren't just tolerant of their gay son, they were stoked and proud.”

The article is a great read for fans. And for its insight into how artists are ‘happening’ without having to take the traditional route of catering to a mainstream straight audience first on the journey to success.

Sivan dropped his latest track from Bloom, a duet with Ariana Grande titled, “Dance To This.”

The Aussie artist says it's "about how, after a while, all of these parties and nights out kind of start to blur, and you get to the point where staying at home and making food and making out in the kitchen sounds like the ideal night.”

Check it out below.

 

 

Ricky Martin "I Wish I Could Come Out Again Because It Felt Amazing"

Stopping by ABC’s Popcorn with Peter Travers, pop superstar Ricky Martin chatted about his recent acting turn as Gianni Versace’s boyfriend Antonio D’Amico in FX’s "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" series which could earn the 46-year-old his first Emmy Award nomination.

Along the way, the subject turned to Martin’s positive outlook on life and the “Shake Your Bon-Bon” singer became effusive about how liberating coming out as gay was for him.

In fact, he says he wishes he could come out again.

“I always say this, I wish I could come out again because it felt amazing,” Martin said. “The freedom, the feeling of liberation was so powerful, that’s what I mean by saying I wish I could come out again because it just felt amazing." 

"And then after that, people coming to me and saying 'Thank you so much for coming out. Because of you, I understand my father better. I understand my sister better.' So it’s an important thing to do.”

With LGBT Pride celebrations in full swing, the Latin hunk beamed with his message of self-acceptance.

“For those out there that are struggling with their identity, everything is going to be fine,” Martin said. “Just be yourself. Love yourself.”

The 46-year-old father of two also touched on how he’d feel if his kids were to come out.

“I don’t know, my kids are too young, but I wish they were gay,” he said. “It is a very special thing. The sensitivity, the way I see now, that I don’t have to hide in any way shape or form. I see colors. And then you see the rainbow. I understand why the symbol is the rainbow. It’s just real. Everything is tangible. It makes me a stronger person.”

Watch below:

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