Showing posts with label Coming Out (USA). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coming Out (USA). Show all posts

February 11, 2019

You Never Hear This at Disney: "and I’m gay” by Cyrus Goodman

(pic by twitter)

Cyrus Goodman is a very important person not just in the show Andi Mack or the Disney Channel universe, but for representation in the entirety of media. The teenage character is Disney's first officially confirmed, openly LGBTQ+ character. On Friday's episode of the coming-of-age series, Cyrus (who is played by actor Joshua Rush) came out to his best straight male friend and former crush, Jonah Beck (Asher Angel). 

Cyrus isn't only gay, he's also Jewish. The monumental scene happened after the character's grandmother had passed, and he invited his friends over for her shiva. As he and his friend Jonah hovered over the table lined with different types of traditional Jewish dishes and treats, he explained, "That, of course, is Aunt Ruthy's kugel. That's your classic bagel and lox. That's gvelta fish, skip that... and I'm gay."

Jonah received the news in the best way an any queer person could hope for — with a warm smile, and an "Okay. Cool!" making the moment feel warm, organic and a win overall.

This moment shook the show's fans to the core. One fan tweeted, "CYRUS GOODMAN JUST MADE DISNEY CHANNEL HISTORY." Actor Joshua Rush retweeted, commenting, "Every day is a blessing working on this show. This milestone is just another stitch in a rich and vibrant tapestry that is Cyrus Goodman."

#CyrusGoodman and #AndiMack became trending topics in the US the day the episode aired, and rightfully so. Read some of the best Twitter reactions, below.

˗ˏˋ bee loves cyrus ˎˊ˗ @tyruskippn ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay ...and i'm gay thank you joshua rush, cyrus goodman, & disney channel.

October 17, 2018

Gay Teen Asks His Football Captain for A Homecoming to Show Others is OK to Be What They Are


Alexander Duarte knows how to make a statement — and his homecoming proposal was no exception. 
During lunch hour on #NationalComingOutDay the self-described “noobie” makeup artist and senior at Valley High School in Santa Ana, Calif., staged a homecoming proposal for the books. With his classmates lining up in support, and Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” playing in the background, Duarte stepped through a door that read “Out of the Closet” and asked the straight captain of the football team, Erick Pineda, to homecoming.
The moment, which Duarte captured on his Instagram, shows the two hugging as students erupt in applause, some appearing to wipe away tears. Behind the two seniors, two classmates hold Duarte’s homemade rainbow sign, which reads: “I know I’m GAY, but can I take you STRAIGHT 2 HOMECOMING?” 
Duarte’s proposal to Pineda, who is a friend of his, was inspired by Pineda jokingly saying he should bring him to homecoming. In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Duarte says that he decided to actually do it, and use it as an opportunity to spread a lesson in self-esteem.
“There are various students who are part of the LGBT community at my school and the students and staff are very supportive,” Duarte tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “However, I really wanted to show other students that it’s OK to be themselves because one of the main things that hold people back aren’t others but ourselves.”
Although Duarte timed the proposal with #NationalComingOutDay, it wasn’t until this weekend that it earned him accolades across the web, with write-ups on the Advocate and, and tweets from celebrities like Queer Eye‘s Bobby Berk.  
In an interview with Instinct, Duarte said adults have been accepting and encouraged by his bravery. “My Spanish teacher was the most accepting as she was in the video saying, ‘You’re my hero’ to Erick,” Duarte told Instinct. “Parents, for the most part, will be accepting. Of course, they know I’m gay and we have to remind people we are going as friends and that he is straight.”
Although the date may not be a love connection, it’s certainly one that is breaking down barriers for other students. Duarte has gotten an overwhelming amount of responses from people — both in his community and outside it. On top of being thankful, it’s made him appreciate others who broke down walls before him. “I am really grateful and appreciative over the positive support my proposal has gathered — especially from older folks who have cried over this proposal and said it brought hope for themselves and their children,” Duarte tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I have become more appreciative of the road others paved before me.”
Duarte told Instinct that he has yet to pick out an outfit for the big night. But if this proposal is any indication, it will be one worth remembering.

October 13, 2018

Volleyball Player from USC Comes Out

                                                   Image result for sam lewis

USC volleyball player Sam Lewis used the opportunity of National Coming Out Day to come out publicly as gay in a video posted by USC. In the video, he talks about being worried about coming out to people in his life, but since then he’s found a home in the community.
“I found the LGBT community and I was like, oh, this is it,” he said. “This magic that I feel right now, there’s no way that this couldn’t be who I am.”
He said he first came out to people, including teammates, at age 14 when he was playing volleyball at Long Beach Poly. Before he came out to them he thought it would be the “end of the world.” Instead, they told him it was cool.  
“I felt like I could run a marathon, do cross-fit and a backflip all at the exact same time,” Lewis said. “It was an amazing feeling.”
In the video, he talks about playing internationally and feeling threatened in some places because he’s gay. One of those times was at a tournament in Cuba, where a member of Team Jamaica told one of Lewis’ teammates that they kill gay people in Jamaica, and they should watch Lewis’ back. 
Last season he was captain of the USA Volleyball Men’s Junior National Team.
Lewis told Outsports he’s already gotten reaction to his coming out video from a number of people.
“One of my teammates said that was the gayest video I’ve ever seen,” Lewis said, “and he said it was amazing. 

August 22, 2018

17 y.o. Fmer. Disney Actor J.J.Totah Comes Out as Transgender Female


   In a personal essay published Monday on Time, 17-year-old Totah, who stars as Michael Patel on Mindy Kaling’s comedy Champions, revealed, “I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female” and also announced her new name: Josie.
Totah, a former Disney actor, shared that throughout her childhood, “people would just assume I was gay,” and when she entered into the entertainment industry, “people kept assuming my identity.”
“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,” Totah wrote. “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.”
Up until now, Totah hasn’t corrected people’s assumptions: “I was afraid I wouldn’t be accepted, that I would be embarrassed, that the fans who knew me from the time when I acted in a Disney show would be confused.”
Now, Totah has chosen to be open after realizing “over the past few years that hiding my true self is not healthy.”
“My pronouns are sheher and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah,” said Totah.
While Totah shares that she “always knew on some level that I was female” from the time of adolescence, “it crystallized about three years ago when I was a 14-year-old watching the show I Am Jazz with my mother.” (At the end of June, TLC star Jazz Jennings underwent gender confirmation surgery.) Totah explained, “As I learned more information about hormone replacement therapy, I knew that this was what I had to do. I looked over at her in the middle of the show and said, ‘This is me. I’m transgender. And I need to go through this.’ ”
Her mother was immensely supportive, and Totah swiftly met with doctors and was put on a hormone blocker. “From that point on, I hit the ground running.”
“Like many trans people, I developed serious anxiety as I hid who I was. In some ways, I felt like I was lying by letting people believe I was that gay boy,” wrote Totah, who admitted to hiding girls clothes under sweats. But “once I got on the hormone blocker, which basically stopped my testosterone, that part changed. I wasn’t waking up every day and panicking. ‘Is there hair on my face? Is my voice getting deeper?’ ”
Now that Totah openly identifies as Josie, she said, “it feels like I’m being seen.”
“I have come to believe that God made me transgender. I don’t feel like I was put in the wrong body,” she wrote. “I don’t feel like there was a mistake made. I believe that I am transgender to help people understand differences. It allows me to gain perspective, to be more accepting of others, because I know what it feels like to know you’re not like everyone else.”
Kaling, 39, shared her support for Totah in a tweet, 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!” Earlier this year, Totah, who grew up in a small town in Northern California and goes off to college this week, told PEOPLE that she “stuck out like a sore thumb” during her childhood.

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! ❤️💕❤️💕❤️
 “There wasn’t a lot of diversity in all genres, whether it was race or ethnicity or the LGBTQ community. I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb. I came to the conclusion, I had to at such a young age, if no one was going to be like me than I just have to own it. If I can’t be like everyone else than I might as well just own who I am,” she said..
She added: “I felt like I was kind of forced to because I was so different I just had to stick with it. In a way, that helped me stay true to myself and honor myself. I was literally so different that I could not hide or be shy. At such a young age, I just stuck with that.” 

July 4, 2018

Colin Martin Was Benched Right After Coming Out Gay

[This a posting from Outsports By 

Last Friday, Minnesota United player Collin Martin came out publicly hours before the club hosted its Pride Night to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Anticipation was that Martin would play in the match, but then ... nothing. He stayed on the sideline, prompting public disappointment from some.
Why did he not play? He is the only publicly out LGBTQ athlete playing in major men’s pro sports in North America, it was the team’s Pride Night, and he had been playing regularly for the last couple of months.
It’s an important question to ask, and Martin’s own post-match comments have given rise to both speculation and a possible answer.
Before we dig too deep into this, we want to be perfectly clear about one thing: We do not believe there was any outward homophobia from anyone with the club against Martin because he’s gay. 
Martin has been out to the team for a year, he has expressed complete support from everyone around him, the team has expressed support, the league has expressed support both publicly and privately, and various teammates and coaches have very organically and naturally made it clear they love Martin and entirely support him.
Any insinuation that Martin has been rejected by the team, or that he is being punished for being gay, is completely false and based on no facts. Zero.
Martin was not discriminated against because he’s gay. 
With that being said, Martin himself raised an interesting question in his post-match interviews that raised our eyebrows here at Outsports. When asked if he had an extra desire to play on Pride Night given his public announcement, he said he did. Then he gave a possible explanation for his lack of playing time.
“I want to play every game, so that is normal,” he said. “Maybe he thought I had a lot going on today.” The “he” in question is club manager Adrian Heath, who has the final voice on line-ups and substitutions. 
Various requests by Outsports to speak with Martin have been ignored by the club.
When asked about Martin’s decision to come out publicly, Heath was pitch-perfect.
“It’s something this club has always talked about, being inclusive to everybody,” Heath said, “so he’ll make no difference to us.”
We believe Heath with no reservation. 
Yet Martin’s comment — about the perception he was too distracted on Friday to play effectively — lingers. If an LGBTQ athlete wants to come out, be it privately or publicly, should the timing of their choice have an impact on their playing status?
While we discredit almost every nonsensical “distraction” issue, this one question — coming out literally hours before a match and suddenly juggling lots of interest — as an important one.
Eli Hoff, managing editor of Outsports’ Minnesota United sister site E Pluribus Loonum, reflected the public anticipation of Martin playing in his column recapping his post-match interview and media scrum with Martin. 
“Though many fans expected Martin to appear in the match, either as a substitute or a starter, neither came to be,” Hoff wrote.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune sports writer Megan Ryan, who covers the Minnesota United, told Outsports that, prior to his coming out, Martin’s starting and playing status likely “could have gone either way.”
Ryan said that Martin has regularly started in a 4-3-3 formation lineup for the United. Against Dallas, the club opted for a 3-5-2 lineup. She said it might have been a surprise that Collen Warner started over Martin, but that it wasn’t an egregious shock. 
Until Friday, Warner had played in half as many matches as Martin — three vs. six. He hadn’t started since March, while Martin had started five of the club’s previous eight matches.
While it may not have been a shocker, it raises some eyebrows.
Yet, frankly, it’s also understandable. People talk about the “distraction” of a gay athlete, and it’s something we at Outsports completely dismiss. Gay athletes are not a distraction, as many have come out and been part of teams that went on to do great things. Any extra cameras or media attention is hardly a distraction to a team trying to get to a league championship. 
However. There are reasons we recommend to LGBTQ professional athletes that they come out publicly during the offseason. An MLS player coming out publicly in January has a couple months to get through the cameras and attention before ever having to step foot on a pitch for a meaningful game.
Martin came out publicly at 10 a.m. last Friday with a match at 7 p.m on the same day.
Brave. Courageous. Trailblazing. Inspiring. Amazing. 
Yet it was also risky in a way we have not seen before, not because of the possible long-term reactions from people on his team, but because of the actual, real risk of a pertinent distraction in his life hours before his match. 
Even Martin himself said his coming out on the game day created complications that may have better served him another time. 
“If I was going to do it differently next,” Martin said, “I would not have done it on a game day. It has been crazy in terms of logistics.”
According to Ryan, Martin was so busy giving media interviews on Friday that he was unable to take his usual game-day nap. Breaking from game-day norm for a professional athlete is not a deal-breaker but it is significant. 
In addition, at halftime, Martin left the team locker room to give the club’s community award to Dot Beltsler, the executive director of Twin Cities Pride. Ryan said it’s out of the ordinary for a player to be involved in the halftime award ceremony.
Again, not a deal-breaker... but significant.
Ryan said that much of Martin’s game-day prep was turned upside down on Friday.
While Hoff believed that Martin should have played Friday, he echoed much of what Ryan said. 
“Friday was very abnormal for him,” Hoff told Outsports. “Players are usually not available on the game day before the game. He was doing an interview with NBC, and I know he was doing one with the local NBC affiliate too. Plus those were at the stadium, which was also abnormal.”
Hoff said exacerbating that is that Martin wasn’t, until Friday, in high demand from the media. Suddenly seemingly everyone wanted to talk to him. Plus, he’d been setting the stage for his big coming out with his family and club all week.
There were, beyond his coming-out announcement, extenuating circumstances. 
Another key issue of note is the nature of substitutions in soccer. MLS clubs, like most professional soccer clubs around the world, are allowed only three subs in a match. This isn’t like basketball where a coach can send a player into the game, see how he’s playing, and get him back on the bench if it isn’t going well. If Martin had gone in, with only three substitutions allowed in MLS, he’d be there for the duration.
Over the weekend, Heath answered a question about his decision to sit Martin. He gave the perfect answer to why he substituted Frantz Pangop instead of Martin in the 77th minute. 
“I just wanted a more offensive player on the field,” Heath said, according to Ryan. “I felt that we needed to score a goal, and I think Frantz is more dangerous in the final third than Collin. That’s just the nature of their positions and the way that they play.”
In six seasons with D.C. United and Minnesota United, Martin has zero goals and three assists in MLS matches. MLS’ own Web site describes Pangop: “quick, dynamic and has the skill to create and score goals”
It was very disappointing that MLS’ only publicly out gay athlete did not play on his club’s own Pride Night. No athlete should lose playing time because of the timing of their coming out. That he was not recognized formally in any way during said Pride Night speaks poorly of the club’s execution of the event.
However, Martin’s topsy-turvy Friday, and the nature of soccer are certainly extenuating circumstances. In this particular case, given all of the circumstances, if the club managers and coaches took all this into consideration, it’s actually — in this individual case — understandable.
For more Minnesota United news and notes, visit E Pluribus Loonum.

June 30, 2018

New York City Gave Me The Courage to Come Out As a Gay Man

James Lambert 

James Lambert: ‘It took me time to be okay with who I am.’
 ‘It took me time to be okay with who I am.’ 

This week I celebrated gay pride in New York, at a parade that saw two million people take to the streets to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ with “Defiantly Different” theme.
It moved me. It made me immensely proud to be part of such a diverse, bold and resilient group of people. It also made me reflect and look back to growing up in Ireland and my experience coming out.
Everyone has a different path, and sexual orientation is a complex thing. I remember in my teenage years having a feeling I was different in some way, and it terrified me. I had a good mix of friends, boys and girls, the word “gay” was one thrown around to describe something undesirable, made idiomatic, little to do with its definition.
In primary school, sexual education did not account for heteronormative variables. There were few gay role models growing up, and representations in media were often exaggerated, hyper effeminate men who served as fun accessories to the main characters.
I always prided myself on being entrepreneurial and had an innate desire to work in a big city, a powerful company, someday with a seat at the table. But I was ignorant and thought as a gay man I would be restricted in what I could do, so I squashed the thought. Who I thought I was and what my aspirations were, could not allow me to be gay. The thought was unacceptable.
Being raised Catholic I always had faith growing up and would pray every night. I would pray to keep my family safe, and at the end I would pray that I would not be gay. I would never dwell on it for long or even think about it, for the very thought would make it that bit more real. I did not want to be different. Somehow, I managed to compartmentalise that part of myself and continued to go on lads nights out and shift a girl and whatever else to keep going. I was relatively happy, had friends, and my studies were going well. But deep down, something was not clicking.

Double life

Four years ago I moved to America.I was part of a dual-degree programme with 12 other Irish people, studying at Northeastern University in Boston at the cost of Dublin City University fees. My inner conflict came to the fore when I graduated in 2016. It was the final semester of senior year. I was effectively leading a double life. I met guys for dates, one who became my boyfriend for a time. aIt felt extremely right, and, in those stolen moments, I felt completely at ease with myself.
In Boston I lived with friends from DCU and there the double life began to cause real stress. I was juggling two identities, and trying to keep up an act. I felt like I a phony. I was scared that these friends, who had become like brothers and sisters, would think less of me. That the James they knew was in actual fact someone else. I was worried everyone would feel I had betrayed them, that I was weak for keeping this secret. These thoughts were bull, of course; misinformed internal perceptions, far removed from reality.
My family came to Boston for graduation in May 2016. They were immensely proud of me (and relieved) that I was finished my third-level education. My parents, both then primary school principals, had always supported my education. But during this happy time, I felt a deep sadness that was difficult to reconcile: I was starting a new job and moving to New York City, a place I dreamed about since I was a kid, graduating from university and harboring this big (gay!) secret. I chose not to tell them during graduation, in fear of eclipsing the moment.

James Lambert (left) with Dan Manning: ‘I met people who broke down my own ignorant perceptions of what I thought it meant to be gay.’
James Lambert (left) with Dan Manning: ‘I met people who broke down my own ignorant perceptions of what I thought it meant to be gay.’ 

Coming out

A few months into my new New York life, I began to live more openly as a gay man. It was new, exciting and eye opening. I met people who broke down my own ignorant perceptions of what I thought it meant to be gay. I experienced romantic love and met new people who have since become my best friends. Seeing people be unashamedly themselves ignited something in me and gave me the confidence to be more okay in my own skin.
I put together a message, had it peer reviewed and sent it to my family Whatsapp group explaining everything. My dad had no idea, my mam and sisters understood, and to my youngest brother it made absolutely no difference. They all came back to say they loved me and supported me. I told my Irish friends face to face while home that Christmas, and they were happy for me.
It took me time to be okay with who I am, and I hope my story can help even just one person still struggling to find some support to realise that being gay does not make a difference to what matters. I am excited for the next generation, that they never for a minute should be scared to hide who they are. I am grateful to those far braver than me who faced the cruel hand of discrimination and demanded equality. I am proud to be an Irishman and have the highest-ranking seat in our Government filled by an openly gay man.

Irish Times

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