Tag Archives: coming out

KyleXY’s Matt Dallas Quietly Comes Out

7 Jan

matt_dallas_kyle_xyIt seems from a quiet New Year’s tweet, that not only has the handsome boy without a navel from ABC’s KyleXY, actor Matt Dallas is engaged!

Late last night, Matt tweeted

“Starting off the year with a new fiancé, @bluehamilton. A great way to kick off 2013!pic.twitter.com/FQ9y4tHe

Coming out quietly with a simple act seems to be the newest and might I add classiest way for Hollywood actors to let their fans know who they are. Last year White Collar and Magic Mike star Matt Bomer came out while thanking his partner and three little boys in an award thank you speech and Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons quietly did so in a brief statement at the end of a NY Times interview about an upcoming broadway play he was starring in.

While I’m sure the tabloid coming out articles and People magazine cover stories are far from over, its nice to see some of Hollywood is catching on to this new (and far more classy) trend.

Congrats to Matt and his new fiancé, LA musician James Hamilton, who followed up with his own adorable retweet this morning!

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Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

11 Oct

Me and my brothers, I’m on the far right. Note the bevel.

October 11th is National Coming Out Day.

Coming Out in this country is something which has changed a great deal since I was a kid. For many young people today (though certainly not all), the process has become far less traumatic. The act of telling a friend or family member that you’re gay is now frequently met with a “so?” and a “cool, let’s go to a gay bar!”

While the reactions for some have changed, the process, the act of summoning the courage to say it, has remained the same. For me and for thousands of others, we spent years hiding – pretending to be something we  weren’t.

I dated girls in high school. Well, I hung out with girls in high school. At one point, one girl who was a good size larger than me, pushed me up against the band room lockers one afternoon. “I want you to go out with me.” she said. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll say yes.” Ever the pacifist, I reluctantly agreed. Nothing ever happened outside of her falling asleep on my lap at a few parties (an action she had in common with my fiancé). Every moment with her was filled with fear. I wasn’t just afraid of getting my ass kicked, I was afraid of something happening where she would find out who I really was. And tell everyone about it.

My first beard, Beth. Note my happiness.

Another girl I dated – to this day, one of the sweetest people I know, I had one date with. We went to see Shadowlands in the movie theater. The event was plagued by 3 different delays due to a faulty projector, so the already painfully-long film was met with two 30-minute intermissions. As if things weren’t awkward enough.
A card I received a few days later, professing her “love” for me…yes, she said “I love you”, caused me to end that very quickly.

So when I finally came out to my best friend John (as bisexual of course, cuz that’s the natural progression of things, right?), I expected shock and surprise. I mean, who would expect a 19 year old who’d never seriously dated a girl and dreamed of moving to New York City and starring on Broadway to be gay? Instead John offered to host a coming out party for me at his dorm and offered zero of the shock and awe I hoped for.

And of course, coming home from my first rennaisance faire with my Dad. And he claimed not to know.

In all seriousness though, when a person comes out to you, act surprised – even if you’re not. We work really hard to hide who we are in many cases and if upon coming out we’re met with a “Oh, I know. We all know,” what you’re saying to that person is “We’ve known forever, you’re bad at hiding and we’ve been talking about you behind your back for years.” Not exactly the most supportive message to send to someone in easily the most vulnerable place they’ve ever been in.

So today, on National Coming Out Day, be yourself. If you’re gay, tell someone who didn’t know before – maybe even someone who probably doesn’t care. Tell your taxi driver, your banker, the guy holding the door open at 7-11. In honor of all those who can’t come out for fear they’ll be kicked out of their homes, lose their livelihood, or worse – come out to someone new. And have a gay day.

 

 

Anderson Cooper: “The fact is, I’m gay.”

2 Jul

While it won’t be a surprise to many, Anderson Cooper has publicly acknowledged the fact that he’s a gay man.

As Entertainment Weekly pointed out last week, it’s becoming more and more of a non-issue for someone to come out. And it no longer needs to be something splashed on the front page of People Magazine. Look at Jim Parsons, who came out quietly and sincerely in an interview about his new Broadway show, Harvey.

There are people across the country who will be shocked by this. But the truth of the matter is that we have another happy, successful out gay man spending hours in living rooms around the US every day. Congratulations and thank you to Anderson for showing young people out there that they can love who they love and still live the lives they want to live.

In an email exchange with Andrew Sullivan, Anderson wrote:

Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years. Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.

But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist.

I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter. I’ve stuck to those principles for my entire professional career, even when I’ve been directly asked “the gay question,” which happens occasionally. I did not address my sexual orientation in the memoir I wrote several years ago because it was a book focused on war, disasters, loss and survival. I didn’t set out to write about other aspects of my life.

Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.

The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.

I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.

Since my early days as a reporter, I have worked hard to accurately and fairly portray gay and lesbian people in the media – and to fairly and accurately portray those who for whatever reason disapprove of them. It is not part of my job to push an agenda, but rather to be relentlessly honest in everything I see, say and do. I’ve never wanted to be any kind of reporter other than a good one, and I do not desire to promote any cause other than the truth.

Being a journalist, traveling to remote places, trying to understand people from all walks of life, telling their stories, has been the greatest joy of my professional career, and I hope to continue doing it for a long time to come. But while I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities as a journalist, I am also blessed far beyond having a great career.

I love, and I am loved.

In my opinion, the ability to love another person is one of God’s greatest gifts, and I thank God every day for enabling me to give and share love with the people in my life. I appreciate your asking me to weigh in on this, and I would be happy for you to share my thoughts with your readers. I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space. But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.

Jim Parsons Comes Out in NY Times Article

23 May

Congratulations to Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons for officially coming out via a New York Times article today.

The article, an interview about Parsons’ upcoming role in a rare Broadway revival of Harvey, states simply:

“”The Normal Heart” resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said.”

I’m particularly moved by the casualness of the coming out buried on page 3 of a lengthy article. Parsons will be playing the beloved Elwood P. Dowd in the upcoming revival – a role made famous by the late, great Jimmy Stewart.

While I’m of course looking forward to this performance, my favorite appearance by Parsons will always be in “Man, or Muppet” from last year’s The Muppets.

Enjoy! And thank you for being an inspiration to all the young gay people living in places where it’s not so easy to tell people who they are.

Zachary Quinto: “it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.”

16 Oct

Zachary Quinto

I first met Zachary Quinto at Bar Centrale on 46th Street in New York City. He was already fairly well-known for his work in HEROES, so it was exciting to meet him while he was surrounded by several friends of mine. While I can’t say we ever got to know each other, it’s been thrilling to see his career take off.

Then last year, I had the pleasure of seeing him in Angels in America at the Signature Theatre off-broadway. His portrayal of a gay man who abandons his boyfriend who is dying from AIDS was riveting. While it was never said aloud among my circle of friends, it was known that he was gay.

As he has become more and more famous in the past few years, I couldn’t help but wish he would come out publicly. It’s obvious with his body of work (HEROES, Star Trek), that he has a great many young fans and it’s that group of young people who need to hear now more than ever – that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, that one can be successful, intelligent and happy as a gay man, and (to quote the recently departed Frank Kameny) “Gay is Good.”

Today in a New York Magazine profile, Zachary has done just that.

‘For one thing, he’s willing to unambiguously talk about his sexual orientation. His eight-month role in Angels was both “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding” he says. Having to inhabit that terrible lost world, if only in his mind, took a toll. “And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done, and there’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”’

Zachary’s blog goes on to explain further as to why he is making the choice to no longer be quiet about his sexual orientation. His words are poignant and exquisitely said. We can hope that other celebrities follow in his footsteps and realize that their fame and honesty can make an enormous life in the difference of millions of kids growing up LGBT. Here’s his blog posting:

“when i found out that jamey rodemeyer killed himself – i felt deeply troubled.  but when i found out that jamey rodemeyer had made an it gets better video only months before taking his own life – i felt indescribable despair.  i also made an it gets better video last year – in the wake of the senseless and tragic gay teen suicides that were sweeping the nation at the time.  but in light of jamey’s death – it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it – is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality.  our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay lesbian bisexual and transgendered citizen of this country.  gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying.  parents need to teach their children principles of respect and acceptance.  we are witnessing an enormous shift of collective consciousness throughout the world.  we are at the precipice of great transformation within our culture and government.  i believe in the power of intention to change the landscape of our society – and it is my intention to live an authentic life of compassion and integrity and action.  jamey rodemeyer’s life changed mine.  and while his death only makes me wish that i had done this sooner – i am eternally grateful to him for being the catalyst for change within me.  now i can only hope to serve as the same catalyst for even one other person in this world.  that – i believe – is all that we can ask of ourselves and of each other.”

Congrats, Zachary and thank you for opening the door for so many young people to begin a journey filled with more hope than they may have had yesterday.

How One Person Coming Out Can Change the World

11 Oct

Raymond Miller (photo by Jamie McGonnigal, EqualityPhotography.com)

It is my belief that a pretty large majority of the people who read this blog have come out to their families and friends. Many of you are also out at work, at church, to your local businesses and everyone you meet. And some of you may read this blog and others like it as your only outreach to the LGBT community.

Today is National Coming Out Day and we want to be certain that our readers understand the importance of being out. We’ve created a little survey of our own here that we’d love for you to take so we can get an idea of who’s reading and some of your stories.

In 2009, Gallup conducted a survey which told us many things, but primarily it told us that those who know us, are far more likely to vote for our equality. On the question of marriage, the number of those who do not think we should have marriage equality dropped from 72% to 47% among respondents who didn’t know vs. those who knew someone who is gay or lesbian.

With simple acceptance of our relationships, those who didn’t personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, 57% said that our relationships should be illegal. Among those who said they personally knew one of us, that number dropped to 29%:

A good friend once asked me if there was anyone in my family that didn’t know I was gay. I told him that my grandmother didn’t know because she was so old and why would I upset her at her age? He simply asked: “Does she vote?” Yes, she did. If these numbers are correct, than it tells us that people may vote for us nearly 2-to-1 when they know one of us (as Harvey Milk once said).

But it goes farther than that. A few years ago, I asked friends on facebook to use their Thanksgiving family gatherings to tell their families who they are. And to those who were already out, to use the time around the table to ask their families to do more. We need allies, so asking your families and friends to be not only allies, but advocates for your equality can double or triple the number of people affected by your coming out.

That Christmas, I went home and was doing my Christmas Eve gift wrapping with my sister-in-law. There was a brief pause in our conversation and she said “You know, I did what you asked me to do and I brought up gay marriage with some co-workers.” She went on to say she was “surprised” by some of her co-worker’s attitudes on equality, but continued to discuss it nonetheless. Did she change everyone’s minds just by bringing it up? Probably not. But is it possible she made some people think about what equality really means to them and perhaps consider voting for it? It’s very likely.

When the Gallup survey came out, Andrew Sullivan used it as a rallying cry so that people would “accelerate the coming-out process.” It’s clear that coming out makes a difference in how people vote and that those still living in the closet can actually hurt our progress. The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission used the Gallup survey to ask Christians to stop knowing gays and lesbians. Because hey, if you don’t know us, you won’t vote for us, right? It’s this kind of bigoted rhetoric which causes statistics like the nearly 1/3 of all homeless teens being LGBT.

So, we are issuing this request. Challenge yourself. If there is anyone in your life that you are not out to, and you can safely come out to, do it. You don’t have to do it today (despite the awesomely perfect excuse you have today), but make a commitment today and give yourself a deadline to tell everyone in your life who you are – including your banker and dry cleaner – they vote too.

 

Gay Man’s Brother Discovers his Ally-ness

12 Apr

The following is a post by Chelsea Kleven on Central Michigan Life, it’s an important and simple story of how a brother of a gay man discovered that he is an ally. Enjoy and share:

Brother’s sexuality should be a non-issue, not only reason to stand for gay rights

I found out that my older brother was gay by accident.

In high school, I had an “identity book” project, and I was having a hard time coming up with things to write about. I decided to look though my brother’s old project to gain some inspiration. While flipping through it, I came across an entry where he wrote about being gay and struggling with his sexuality.

I vividly remember reading the first few lines, before slamming the book shut, throwing it back into the box and gasping as I left his old room. I think I may have even cried. I did not know what to do, but I kept the secret to myself for more than a week.

Looking back, that is what makes me so disgusted with the situation: I made it all about me. At that time I was already having a pretty big pity-party since this was also the year my parents had decided to separate. Finding out my brother was gay seemed to be the icing on the cake.

I remember walking down the hall at school the next day fighting back tears, feeling like no one could possibly understand how difficult my situation was.

But it didn’t have anything to do with me; it was something my brother was facing, not me.

I worked up the courage to ask my mom about it a few days later and we talked about everything. She told me about how my brother came out to her when he was 13, and how she regretted her reaction.

Pieces of the puzzle I never understood before began to come together. Now my dad’s sudden interest in religion did not seem so unwarranted, and my brother’s urge to move out immediately after graduating made a lot more sense.

It was not until I asked him if it was OK to write this column that I spoke to him about his sexuality directly, and it was via text messages. I had sometimes wished he would talk to me about it, but when I think about it, there’s not really much to talk about. He’s gay, so what?

It’s not an unspoken topic in my family. We all love and accept my brother, but talking about him being gay is still awkward sometimes. I think knowing has actually made my relationship with my brother a lot easier, because it’s easier to understand him and the life he lives.

Through all of this I’ve learned that I should never make the situation about me, though. Playing the “I have a gay brother” card when people say something offensive isn’t the right way to go about it.

I stand up in defense of the gay community because we should all treat each other fairly as human beings, not just because I have a family member who is gay. Being related to a gay person doesn’t mean I have more of a vested interest in gay rights, it just means I have a brother who can lend me all the seasons of “Sex and the City.”

 

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