Lesbian actress Amber Heard has said people in her profession are dissuaded from coming out in Hollywood and end up becoming part of a “detrimental lie”.The Rum Diary star told Women’s Health magazine: “You can’t respect yourself if you’re afraid to be who you are. It requires bravery to do something no one else around you is doing.“But the risk was outweighed by the possibility of playing into this horribly detrimental lie that some in Hollywood perpetuate.”
contributed by A Strange Boy
My parents are both devout Christians and my sisters and I were both raised in the faith. My father is an ordained minister. My mother stayed home to raise us. It wasn’t really a traumatic upbringing or anything but it did mean regular church attendance, Vacation Bible School (something my younger sister came to resent) and greater scrutiny against “evil” influences. Overall, my parents were still considerably more lax than the stereotypical fundamentalist upbringing but sex was still something to be done after marriage, between two people of the opposite sex.
I didn’t admit to myself I liked other men until I was 23. It came rather quick in a period of “I wonder if I am gay” moments that were too urgent to ignore; it was on my mind a lot and I figured out that I needed to finally ask myself that. I had other moments of wondering before that, mainly when I found my mother’s old abnormal psychology textbook and found myself fascinated with the section of homosexuality, reading a newspaper article about local teen gay activists in Winnipeg, or passing by signs for Catalyst, the GLBT society at my university.
I had a departure from my faith around age 20. Before that point I had been involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and considered myself Christian, but some discussions with a more fervent old-school Calvinist made me realize that I disagreed with a lot of his hardline stances about homosexuality. At the same time, it also made me feel that the feel-good lovey-dovey variety of Christianity was not providing any answers and felt more like a shallow empty ritual. I stopped attending church or IVCF, but still thought of myself as heterosexual.
My coming out to myself came rather suddenly. I was thinking to myself about the times I’ve kissed men over the last few years (usually in drunken affection) and realized that I enjoyed it on a deeper level than I had expected. Suddenly, a lot of things about myself growing up clicked, and the more I explored my sexuality, the surer I was. I had originally self-identified as bi but over the last 6 years I’ve come to realize that whatever interest I had in women seemed to be more for the status of not being single than any sexual attraction. I still gravitate towards women when seeking new friendships, but I can’t see myself getting sexually involved with anyone but a man.
I’m slowly coming out. My parents don’t know yet, and the prospect of telling them still frightens me. My sisters do, though, and they’re fine with it. A good chunk of my friends know as well, either because I’ve explicitly told them or because I’ve dropped enough hints that it’s not particularly well hidden. I still don’t consider myself fully out though, and feel that it is holding me back from living an authentic life or fully integrating myself into the community. It’s also what’s stopping me from seeking a committed relationship at the moment. There are times when I really feel isolated. But then I look at my progress over the years and realize I have become more comfortable in my own skin, and that I have been able to build a community online over the last few years. My friendships are more meaningful because my friends now know this part of me.
It’s not that it hasn’t been hard, and it will be hard in the future. But it’s getting better, and it will continue to get better.
Quinto seems to see himself in transition. He asks if he can record our conversation, for, he explains, “archival purposes … I just find that there’s something about looking back on interviews, whether for purposes of remembering what I said about something or if it’s for posterity when I’m 75 … I find that communication as an actor and person is an important part of who I am … and I’m really drawn into the psychology of those dynamics.
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.”
And from his own blog:
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.
By 14, Matranga, didn’t want to pretend anymore. So she handed a note to a classmate at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Kenner, scrawled with the words, “Pass it on.”
Inside, she wrote: “My name is Jeannette Matranga. I am gay and I’m proud of it. If you have any questions or comments, meet me at the second tree during second lunch.”
There’s a school of thought that it’s best for everyone to come out in every part of their lives since that’s the only way things will advance, although I’ve noticed that proponents of that tend to have jobs where being queer is an asset (like working in LGBT media). I remember going to a certain straight person’s lecture and being told that everyone should come out, and if they lose their job, well, don’t worry, you didn’t want that job anyway. She was married to an oil exec and never worked a day in her life.
Fascinating piece on a study that shows resumes with obviously LGBT affiliations get called 40% less than those without. And commentary on what it means to be out and why that’s a decision we need to make for ourselves.
I’m out at work (as are many people I work with) and it’s a real privilege to be able to be.
So Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is history. This is what that means:
The second video is considerably harder to watch than the first. His mom starts quoting the Bible.
Telling his Dad
Telling his Mom
“I have these beautiful children and this extraordinary family and to think in any way shape or form that that’s wrong or that there’s shame in that or that there’s something to hide actually turns my stomach.”
“What would [my daughter] think if I said, ‘Oh honey, you can’t come with me to work because they don’t know I have an adopted daughter and they don’t know that I’m gay.’ My children and our family, I’ve really never been as proud of anything in my life. I couldn’t be happier at this point in my life, and I feel like we’ve created this pretty extraordinary family.”
There was a period before I was in the public eye when I wasn’t out because I was still coming to terms with things. I think a lot of people are in the closet for personal reasons and that’s fine. But if they’re in the closet for a career reason, that’s just stupid. It’s 2011 – get out!
Things really are changing. I think John Barrowman’s answer here really represents a lot of sentiment out there about people who stay closeted for their careers.
This story was submitted to us online by Jesse.
Most people are born with none to very little baggage; I was born with a sack of it. I came out of the womb covered in red tape. June 4th 1992 is the day I like to call the “Red tape Day”, But you can just call it my Birthday. But this story starts before that, nine months to be exact.
My biological mother, “Robin” was a prostitute among many other things. Adopted when she was a baby she never knew her real parents. Her grandfather raped her when she was a child, so she continuously ran away from home. She ran away to a little town in South Carolina called Loris, but I’d prefer to call it Home. She met a boy there by name of Eddie. They started dating, and she became very good friends with his mom, Mary, The woman that I call my mother. Well she was found a few months later and token back home. Many years later my mother met a man in Boone NC, and he got her pregnant. The baby was promised to his mother, my biological grandmother. But one day my grandmother came home and caught her drinking while she was pregnant with me, and they got in to a fight and she left. She called up Mary (my mother) and told her she was pregnant and didn’t have anywhere to go. At this time Eddie was in jail for armed robbery and kidnapping.
Georgia state Representative Rashad Taylor acknowledged he’s gay after a man accused him of sexual misconduct.“I’ve spent the last few days with my family and my friends and my pastor. I needed to sit down with them and tell them what I’ve come to tell you and my constituents. And that is that I’m a gay man,” Taylor told reporters on Friday at a news conference organized by the gay rights group Georgia Equality.
Half of me wants to comment that this should no longer be a press conference-worthy event. But the other half of me thinks it’s tragic it took this before he could tell his family and friends.