Showing posts with label Coming Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coming Out. Show all posts

March 4, 2019

He Got Kick Out On The Street By His God-Loving Parents Without AnythingBut Dem.Congresswoman Just Did Right by Him

Gay Florida teen kicked out of home lands internship with Dem congresswoman
© Courtesy Photo

The gay Florida teen who received national attention last year after his parents kicked him out of his home and left him without enough money to attend Georgetown recently landed an internship at Rep. Stephanie Murphy's (D-Fla.) office and is prospering at the university.
Murphy’s office told The Hill on Saturday the congresswoman had contacted Georgetown to offer her support and an internship for Seth Owen after hearing about his story. 
“I am proud that Seth chose to be a part of our team,” Murphy said in a statement to The Hill. “He will always be welcomed here, and I’m am happy to see him thrive. Our entire office is rooting for his continued success.” 
Owen began interning at the congresswoman’s office in January and will be working with the office for the remainder of his spring semester.
Owen told the Orlando Sentinel Friday that he has also started a scholarship designed to help “students in marginalized communities access post-secondary education.” He said he used a $25,000 donation he received from Ellen DeGeneres last year to start the initiative, which will be provided by his Unbroken Horizons Scholarship Foundation.
The Florida teen first came in to prominence last summer after one of his teachers set up a fundraising page to raise money for his first year's tuition at Georgetown.
His story picked up traction on social media at the time after he revealed that his parents kicked him out of the house because he wouldn’t attend their church over teachings and rhetoric he said were anti-LGBTQ.
It wasn’t long after his story went public, however, that Owen, who was the valedictorian at his high school, was a full-ride scholarship to attend Georgetown last fall.
Owen thanked his supporters in the interview with the local paper for their “incredible generosity to help me achieve my dream of getting to college. Each and every day, I am humbled by the opportunities I find in our nation's capital.”
He is also seeking for more donations to his nonprofit foundation and is urging other students to apply for his scholarship.

February 24, 2019

Ellen Page Talks About How She Was Pressured Through Speech and Dressing to Hide Her Sexuality

Ellen Page.

In her early 20s, when she had just fallen in love with a woman for the first time but was not yet publicly out, Ellen Page faced endless speculation in the press about her sexuality. That experience, she says, was detrimental to her mental health at the time — especially because people in Hollywood were simultaneously pressuring her to stay in the closet, Page explains in a new interview with Porter Edit.
Page, now 32 and married to dancer Emma Portner, has previously spoken out about her journey to coming out in Hollywood. A year after coming out in 2014 at age 26, she expressed regret “for not being a visible person for the community, and for having the privilege that I had and not using it.” And in 2017, she said that her X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner publicly outed her on set when she was only 18 and not ready to address the issue.
Reflecting on her career before she came out, Page told Porter Edit, “I was distinctly told, by people in the industry, when I started to become known: ‘People cannot know you’re gay.’ And I was pressured — forced, in many cases — to always wear dresses and heels for events and photo shoots.” She continued, “As if lesbians don’t wear dresses and heels. But I will never let anyone put me in anything I feel uncomfortable in ever again.”
Page further said that, despite the intrusive public speculation about her sexuality and the pressure to keep it quiet, she felt a sense of responsibility to come out. “I want to be able to help in any way I can, and I want to make queer content,” the actress said. 

June 5, 2018

Coming Out to Your Family of Nephews and Nieces by The Out LGBT Individual

You will some Excerpted from “Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids about LGBTQ+ Families and Friends” by Sudi (“Rick”) Karatas. Copyright 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. They appeared on Salon by SUDI "RICK" KARATAS. Adamfoxie took Excepts of the excepts for our audience. We wanted you to  see how some of us feel (the ones with nephews and nieces) that  are LGBT.
 I feel the whole array of LGBT not just gay should be made available to explain to the kids about themselves as soon as they can understand that mom and dad are married. If you wait for them to ask or express curiosity, it might never happen, particulalry with boys. Remember as soon as the kids  start going to school they will find many boys and girls that in many cases will be different from each other. If you wait for other kids to educate your kids they will be educated by those kids friends, parents or something they hear on tv. or the church.
Would it be better for all involved that the people closest with the issue of LGBT and their parents be the ones that educate their kids. I have so many nieces and nephews in my family I don't even know half of their names. We are a big spread out un-united family. If that was not enough religion is the mix with this family. I don't mean the religion with respect to going to church on sundays but the ones that want your kids to eduate them in their mantra. Some name them as mystical, evangelicals, Jehovas's and I don't know what else. Once the immediate family gives the right information to their kids it will be hard for someone who has no interest in the edcuation of your kids they same way you do to change the roots of what your kids already know because it would have been given by someone the kids trust and love.
One mistake some parents do is explain to the kids without giving the opportunity to a close gay or LGBT family member to come out to them. No one can explain the way Iam better than Me. This obviously only aplies to LGBT that are out. This is something that was taken away from me even being close to some in my family. The reason is problably they did not wanted it explain as a positive thing. May be neutral or may be not so neutral. If you have anyone in the family that doesn't know, this might help. Adam🦊
Just in time for Pride in June, "Rainbow Relatives: Real-World Stories and Advice on How to Talk to Kids About LGBTQ+ Families and Friends" (May 8, 2018) is a collection of intimate, real-life stories and advice about coming out to family members—parents to children, aunts and uncles to nieces and nephews, grandparents to grandchildren.
The concept for "Rainbow Relatives" was born when author Sudi "Rick" Karatas asked his sister if her children knew about his (their uncle's) sexual orientation. She said they didn't, as she hadn't been sure how to approach the topic and wished there was a book she could read to help her have those conversations. So, Sudi wrote that book. He hopes "Rainbow Relatives" will make readers more accepting of all people and families, especially in the LGBTQ+ community. 
When my nephew was thirteen years old, his Christmas wish list included the movie "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," a movie about two men pretending to be gay and getting married for health-care benefits. He was already an Adam Sandler fan and thought the premise of the movie sounded pretty funny. At the time, I wondered if he might be too young for a movie with that subject matter and thought perhaps it was better if he didn’t see it. (Okay, so maybe I thought he shouldn’t see it because it had a ridiculous plot.) But I was also concerned because I had no idea if my nephew knew his uncle is what Chuck and Larry were pretending to be. I decided not to buy it for him, but someone else bought him the movie anyway.
Is Younger Better?
As I did research for my book, I realized not only was my nephew old enough to watch a film with a gay theme, but that younger is probably better for children to be introduced to people who are different in a few ways yet the same in so many others.
The consensus of the people I interviewed was that it’s easier to be more accepting at an earlier age before kids are exposed to outside influences that may lead to forming negative beliefs or homophobia. 
I’m not saying it’s a good idea to throw in "Brokeback Mountain" or "Queer as Folk" between episodes of "Sesame Street" but by the time kids get to elementary school, they should not equate gay people with aliens from outer space. The more they know, the less of a big deal it seems—and it really isn’t a big deal at all. The more it’s kept a secret and not talked about, the more taboo, wrong, and shameful it may seem and the bigger the issue becomes.
Many gay people I spoke to were like me in that they simply weren’t sure if their nieces or nephews knew. Many people don’t live near their families, or they don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend around enough in their daily lives, so the kids didn’t have the chance to put it together on their own. However, in some families, the subject just wasn’t tackled or talked about.
To Tell or Not to Tell, That Is the Question
Every family and situation is different. Questions that often arise include: Who gets to decide when a child should know? What if the parents don’t want their kids to know about their aunt or uncle yet, but the aunt or uncle wants their nieces and nephews to know? Should the aunt or uncle have to hide who they are or pretend that they’re someone other than themselves? What if they have a significant other whom they would like to bring to family gatherings just like everyone else? 
One person I interviewed at the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade put it simply: “When children see two people in a loving relationship, it’s not really talked about. They just see that this couple love[s] each other, and as they get older they just understand. They are not told unless they ask. So it’s more of a coming to know. They just see a relative with someone else in a relationship of the same gender, and they kind of just get it.”
I interviewed one person who had a nephew who was nine years old. He said to his uncle, “I hope you find someone to love like Aunt Barbara has.” Aunt Barbara had a female lover. The kid figured it out by himself. He had never been told his uncle was gay, but somehow he knew.
Avoiding the discussion of gay issues with children can end up harming everyone involved. Silence isn’t going to change someone’s sexual orientation or make it go away; it only makes it seem wrong or shameful. It’s a matter of not just letting kids know about LGBTQ relatives, but also making sure their questions and concerns continue to be addressed. It’s likely that children will hear some classmates make negative comments about LGBTQ people, or they’ll see prejudice on TV or social media. They may see news coverage of many states trying to pass anti- LGBTQ laws, like those allowing someone to deny service to an LGBTQ person if it’s against their religious beliefs. In fact, in February of 2014, Arizona did pass a law of this nature, but the governor later vetoed it.
A lot has changed even in the past few years I’ve spent writing Rainbow Relatives. While it’s certainly becoming easier to be out or openly gay in today’s world, conflicting messages are still being put out there as debates over gay rights continue to ignite salacious talk in the media.
Questions and Answers on Coming Out to Nieces and Nephews
Much of the research for my book came from surveys I asked a number of people to fill out. In many of them, on the subject of when and how to tell children about their relatives’ sexual orientation, the adults indicated they were nervous about how the kids would react, while most of the kids indicated that the news didn’t bother them at all. The following are some of the questions and answers taken from the surveys to give you a feel for the basis of my research.
Do your nieces and nephews know you are gay? If yes, how old were they when they were told or found out? How were they told? How did they react? If they have not been told, why not?
  • Paul: Yes. They were about nine and eleven when they found out. My niece was the one who “outed” the situation, so to speak. My sister and I had been on the phone and I was talking about my boyfriend. When she got off the phone, her daughter said, “Who were you talking to?” She said, “It’s your uncle.” Her daughter laughed and said, “No, you were talking about someone and their boyfriend.” That opened up the dialogue for my sister to explain to her daughter that her uncle was gay. She listened and took everything in stride. She wasn’t offended or freaked out. But the funniest part was at the end of the conversation when she said, “I only have one question . . . does that mean I have lesbian blood in me?” My sister laughed a little and was more shocked that her daughter even knew the term lesbian. She then informed her daughter that her uncle being gay has nothing to do with her [own] sexuality. My niece said, “Cool . . . and no wonder he dresses so well.” Ha! Later that day she explained it to my nephew. They had to be a little more gentle with him because he looks so much like me and so many people tell him that; they wanted to make sure that [he understood] people wouldn’t “assume” he was gay because of the similarities. Luckily, he was fine with it too. Neither has ever shown me any resentment or bias. Impressive, since they live in Middle America.
  • Sandra: [My kids] found out when they were ten and twelve years old. My son realized there was only one bed in the apartment my brother shared [with his boyfriend] and came right out and asked if he was gay. I said yes—I knew that they probably already knew.
  • Eddie: I never “came out” and said “I’m gay,” but I never hid it from [my nieces and nephews]; they all met my partner and figured it out. I don’t censor my speech or my actions around them. If I did, it would imply there’s something wrong with it.
  • Rosa: Yes, at age nine, my niece saw a picture of me and my partner and asked her mom, my sister, if I was gay. My sister replied yes. A bit later my sister asked her if she had any questions—and she said no.
What were some questions they asked, and how were they answered? Did boys react differently than girls? How?
  • Allen: They asked, “Do they love each other?” And things like “What’s a lesbian?” or “What’s a gay person?” My response was, “They are with a person of the same sex, just like people are with people of the opposite sex, and there’s nothing wrong with that!”
  • Adrienne: They didn’t ask questions—I asked them an important question. “Now that you know that your uncle is gay—do you feel any differently about him?” Their immediate response was no.
  • Trevor: The girls were more vocal about not caring. The boys were quieter.
  • Alastair: When my nephew found out, he said he didn’t want to talk about it.
  • Sybil: The girls wanted to know the love story; [the] boys didn’t ask, just accepted without questions.

May 23, 2018

Bullies Tag The Closeted (She thought)Teen Car, Then Things Turned Interesting

RIVERTON — A high school student knew intolerance existed in this town of roughly 11,000 long before a local radio host’s homophobic remarks thrust LGBTQ issues into the spotlight.
Cheerleader Elisabeth Carey had always felt it was smarter to keep her secret — the one about liking girls — mostly to herself until she graduated. Who wants to make high school any harder? she said. 
But she was ill-equipped to deal with the consequences when someone spray-painted “LESBO” in large red letters across the passenger’s side of Carey’s car and let her drive the graffiti through town, unawares.  
Carey has bright eyes and a smile that hovers in person and breaks through in photographs — especially the ones taken with family members. WyoFile has given her a pseudonym to protect her privacy as a minor. A member of a Wind River Indian Reservation tribe, Carey belongs to a large multigenerational family and likes to go hunting with her father — a big man and a law enforcement officer. 
Along with wanting a drama-free high school experience, it was fear of how her hunting partner might react that had kept Carey quiet, she said. She confided only in a few friends and trusted teachers about her sexual orientation. 
Elisabeth Carey likes to hunt with her father. Fears about how he would react to the news that she was gay is one of the reasons she delayed coming out, she said. (photo provided by family)
“I wasn’t ready to tell my Dad,” Carey said. “I was getting there … but I wasn’t ready to tell my grandparents or my uncles or my aunts or anything. I was just going to wait until I was older because it would be easier. I wouldn’t have people my age judging me about it and it would be easier for my family to accept me.”
Her mother and father didn’t know she was gay, she thought. Except they really did know, they told her later or at least had a pretty good guess. They were content to wait on Carey to broach the subject. 
“When she was ready,” her mother said. “And she wasn’t.” 
Carey still wasn’t ready on the morning of January 27. 
She parked her car in the Riverton High School school gymnasium lot and spent the day on the sidelines of the Ron Thon Memorial Wrestling tournament. It’s a big event that garners statewide attention. Cheerleaders don’t do their routines at the event, Carey said, but instead wear sweatpants and t-shirts and help sell raffle tickets and hand out medals. 
She spent all day inside the building, then walked back to her silver Chevy sedan.
“I didn’t check my passenger’s side, because why would you?” she said. “I just got in and I drove home.” 
If Carey had chosen that day to tell her father she was gay, which she hadn’t, she certainly would not have chosen to start the conversation by spray-painting “LESBO” on her car.
But someone had chosen for her. The word was there, unbeknownst to Carey as she drove major Riverton thoroughfares across town toward home.
The word stretched in thick red lines from the rear wheel-well, across both doors to under the side view mirror and from the bottom of the windows nearly to the base of the car’s frame. She hadn’t seen it. No none she passed could miss it. 
Her secret paraded across town. 
It certainly wasn’t missed by her father, standing in their snowy yard.
“I have seen her coming around the corner and I could just see it written on the side of her car,” her father remembered. 
“Did you see this?” he asked once she parked. 
“I saw what it was and I went inside,” Carey remembered. “And then I remember just like freaking out.” 
She screamed. She cried. “She had a complete meltdown,” her mother said. Carey tried to leave the home and go back to school to find those responsible. Her father refused to let her go, at times physically restraining her. 
She didn’t go back to school for two days. 
“I wasn’t stable enough,” she said. 
Carey knew who had vandalized her car, she said. She believes it was a girl she’d once considered her best friend and another girl. They had learned Carey’s secret and been mocking her for it. The vandalism wasn’t the end of the aggression, Carey said.
“They would just always find a way to make sure I saw them and make sure I saw that they were laughing at me,” she said. “Make sure I saw that they were pointing at me.” 
Carey and her parents reported the incident to the school, but the girls were never punished. School officials told the family they couldn’t prove who the culprits were. 
“We would love to be able to identify clearly who did that so we could take action,” Terry Snyder, the superintendent of Carey’s school district, told WyoFile. Officials have not given up investigating the incident, he said. “It’s tragic to me that somebody would paint that on her car, the emotional impact that has on a person has to be very, very significant” 
The family has not been satisfied with the school’s response, they told WyoFile. Eventually, they say, Carey stood up to her bullies herself. The result was an altercation in the school hallway —  a fight that she won, Carey said. 
But being forced out of the closet pushed Carey into a depression, according to Carey and her parents. “I was super paranoid, super depressed,” Carey said. 
Going to school felt like walking around with a target on her back: “It’s like I’m an open book that everybody just gets to read and use,” she said. Her grades fell off and for a while, she was failing some of her classes.  
Carey is healing with time, in no small part thanks to the affection of her sprawling family. It hasn’t changed since they found out she was gay. “We have such a huge circle of relations and you love and accept each other,” Carey’s mother said. 
At school Carey lost some friends, she said but gained new ones. She drew a circle of supporters around herself. “They would do anything to protect me,” she said. 
One day, she again found writings on her car — this time they were affirmations, written in Sharpie.
“You’re a perfect ray of sunshine,” “have pride we love you,” and “you’re perfect just the way you are” occupied the same side of her car that once bore her secret and threatened to tear her life apart. The notes had been written by her cheerleading teammates. A photo from the day shows the team huddled around Carey in front of the car, smiling warmly. 
But tensions in the school still simmered. 
In April, another Riverton High School student posted a photograph on Facebook. In it he stood in front of a painting of a rainbow-striped heart with the words LGBTQ+ painted in the middle of it. 
The painting was a message of support for LGBTQ students at the school, Carey said, one of two on the walls. She didn’t know who had painted them.
She liked it. “It felt more welcoming,” she said, “Those paintings just kind of made it feel like I could be accepted.” 
But the student’s Facebook post shows him holding up two middle fingers and a yellow ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag. A version of the post obtained by WyoFile shows the photo accompanied by a caption with a homophobic slur. The student who posted it has been suspended, Carey said. 
The paintings have since been removed. 
“It was a painting that was done without the approval of the teacher and the content of the painting wasn’t the issue with us it was just that it hadn’t been approved,” superintendent Snyder said. “We want people to be able to share their beliefs and their thoughts but that wasn’t how we want that to be done.”
According to Carey, students have been offered the chance to replace the paintings with a poster offering an LGBTQ message if they want. She’s not interested. 
“It’s just too big of a deal to some students,” she said. “I’m not there to start drama with my peers. I’m just there to graduate and get out.” 
Carey would like to become a nurse, she said. She hopes to study at Central Wyoming College in Riverton and then once she has acquired her nursing degree, move away. 
“This whole town is really close-minded,” she said.
Her father isn’t so sure. 
“Everything’s way better after high school,” he said. 

Intolerance on the radio

Like Carey after the Ron Thon, superintendent Snyder was in for an ambush.
On April 25, he went to a studio at the Wind River Radio Network for his bi-weekly appearance on The Morning Buzz, a talk show hosted by John Birbari, a longtime presence in local media and a former chairman of the Fremont County Republican Party. 
The two men do an on-air interview after Snyder’s meetings with the school board, the superintendent later wrote in an email to his staff, in order to talk about local education issues. This week, however, Birbari seemed to have other matters on his mind.
A listener had emailed him a photo of the supportive-LGBTQ paintings, Birbari said. He then proceeded to question Snyder about what the radio host called a political statement. Birbari called homosexuality “destructive medically” and said most gay people he knew had come to “tragic ends.
Snyder, whose district includes seven other schools, wasn’t aware of the paintings, he told Birbari. Regardless, the surprised superintendent countered Birbari, telling him his opinions on the LGBTQ population were dated and repeatedly expressing his support for any student — gay or straight, Christian or not — at his school.
Carey’s family remains unhappy with the high school’s handling of the bullying she faced. But Snyder’s pushback on Birbari, Carey said, gave her more hope.
“He stood up for us,” she said.
The radio interview became statewide news, with an article on WyoFile and in the Casper Star-Tribune a week later. Snyder has received an outpouring of gratitude and support, both from within and outside of Wyoming, he said.
“Until you have something like that happen you don’t really know what your community, the state or others — how they’re going to respond,” he said. “But the responses I’ve received have been very strong in opposition to the position the radio host took.” 
A day after the news of Birbari’s interview went statewide, members of LGBTQ-advocacy group Wyoming Equality traveled to Riverton and held a meeting. In an auditorium at Central Wyoming College, supporters and members of Riverton’s LGBTQ community gathered to talk about a history of intolerance, the hope they saw in their community and the challenges they still face.
Some recalled a 2016 suicide in Gillette. An openly-gay young man killed himself following years of being harassed and bullied, his family said. The bullying his family and friends described in a Casper Star-Tribune article included vandalism to his car.
Attendees listen at a meeting held in Riverton by LGBTQ-advocacy group Wyoming Equality following a local radio host’s homophobic remarks. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)
Birbari’s interview had opened old fears in a state and town where intolerance has dogged them before, the meeting attendees said. 
“It’s the kind of language that makes people feel it’s OK to cause me grave harm,” said Debra East, a longtime resident of Lander who is openly gay.

And the car?

Carey’s car was vandalized on a Saturday — Jimmy Mena’s day off from his job at Fremont Auto Reconditioning, a car detailing service. A transplant from Los Angeles, Mena has lived in Riverton off and on for 9-10 years, he told WyoFile. Tattoos cover his forearms, wrists, and part of his neck.
He was driving down Main Street, from Central Wyoming College, and he saw a silver car. “She was making a left and I was coming right behind her and I noticed it said ‘lesbo’ on the side,” he said.
Mena tried to pull up and flag the driver but couldn’t, he said. He lost the car somewhere along the route. He went home instead and posted a message to a community Facebook group with his phone number. He left out what the vandalism said, but told the victim to get in touch with him so he could clean up their car.
Word of the post reached Carey’s family the same Saturday. Her father contacted Mena and brought the car in. Removing something that big, “it takes some time,” Mena said. But he got it done and he did it for free. 
Mena didn’t know the circumstances of the vandalism, or that the target was a high-school student until being interviewed for this story. 
“To me … It’s bullying,” he said. “I don’t stand for that bullying shit.”
Mena had not heard about Birbari, or the interview that eventually got him suspended from the air and horrified Riverton’s LGBTQ community. 
He didn’t clean the car for political reasons or to make a statement. “It’s people’s lives,” he said. “It’s what they do, it’s how they get along it’s how they live. If that’s their peaceful way of living then so be it.”
Carey and Mena haven’t met. She was too upset at the time, she said. “I felt really bad for not talking to him but I’m super grateful to him,” she said.
Over the course of the spring, Carey reapplied herself at school and her grades quickly came back up.
“It was always my biggest fear coming into high school that something traumatic would happen like this,” Carey said. “And then it did and it kind of made me a stronger person.”
This Page was published on WyoFile by:
Andrew Graham
By Andrew Graham who is reporting for WyoFile from Laramie. He covers state government, energy and the economy. Reach him at 443-848-8756 or at, follow him @AndrewGraham88

April 5, 2018

Jay Z Mom Comes Out Gay To Him, He Feels Relief for Both and Happiness

Jay-ZImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Jay-Z says he cried with relief when his mum told him that she is gay.

Posted on
"I was so happy for her that she was free," the rapper told David Letterman on his new Netflix show.
Jay-Z raps about the moment in the song Smile, on his latest album 4:44.
"Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian/Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian. Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate/Society shame and the pain was too much to take."

Presentational white space

Later in the track the 47-year-old says he's happy his mother has found love again.
"Imagine having lived your life for someone else. And you think you're protecting your kids," Jay-Z said on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. 
"For my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn't and hide and like, protect her kids — and didn't want to embarrass her kids... for all this time. 
"For her to sit in front of me and tell me, 'I think I love someone'. I mean, I really cried."

Jay-Z with daughter Blue Ivy and BeyonceImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionJay-Z with daughter Blue Ivy and Beyonce

The rapper says he'd known for a long time but only spoke to his mum about it eight months ago, when the album was being recorded.
"I knew. But this was the first time we had the conversation," Jay-Z said.
"And the first time I heard her say she loved her partner, like, 'I feel like I love somebody'. She said, 'I feel like'. She held that little bit back, still. 
"She didn't say, 'I'm in love', she said, 'I feel like I love someone', and I just, I cried.
"I don't even believe in crying because you're happy. I don't even know what that is. What is that?" 
The Jay-Z episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction starts streaming on Netflix on 6 April.
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Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra 

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March 16, 2018

Swampscott, MA. Principal Fired After Coming Out as Transgender

SWAMPSCOTT, MA (WHDH) - A Swampscott Elementary School principal has been let go after coming out as transgender.
Principal Shannon Daniels, formerly Tom, was put on paid administration leave for the remainder of the school year and then her contract was not renewed.
School officials say the decision was made before Daniels announced he would be transitioning to female.
The superintendent of the school says many parents made complaints about Daniels’ teaching methods prior to the announcement.

Actor Keiynan Lonsdale Comes Out Gay Right on The Set of 'Love, Simon'

Keiynan Lonsdale stars as Wally West aka Kid Flash in the CW series Getty


The actor, who plays Bram in the upcoming gay teen romance film, talks about representation, 'Queer Eye' and his own coming out.
[This interview contains minor spoilers for Love, Simon.]

Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale has appeared in everything from the Divergent series to CW’s The Flash, but his new role as Bram Greenfeld in Love, Simon is personal.

Love, Simon, out today, breaks new ground as the first mainstream gay teen romance film to hit theaters across the U.S., and Lonsdale knows firsthand how important that is. Last May, soon after production on the film wrapped, he came out publicly to his fans: “I like girls, & I like guys (yes),” he wrote on Instagram. He had come out to the Love, Simon cast and crew a few weeks earlier. Though he feared the repercussions in Hollywood, which has in recent history tended to sideline openly queer actors into small and stereotypical roles, he felt ready. 

Now Lonsdale, who is also a musician with several songs to his name, is prepared to tell more stories about love, queerness, and the lessons he's learned — whatever form that might take. To mark the release of Love, Simon, the actor talked to The Hollywood Reporter about about navigating Hollywood, how Queer Eye helped him embrace his identity, and why he decided to come out to his cast and crew at the end of filming for Love, Simon.

In your mind, what does Love, Simon mean for queer teens?

I think it's absolutely huge. It's kind of crazy that a movie like this hasn't been made. It shows progress. Even when it's really difficult to see progress, I think this is proof. We say, "Representation matters," and it's just the truth. You watch something, and depending on how the story is told and how these characters feel to you, it influences your life, it influences how you feel about yourself and people that you meet.

The amount of people in the world who identify as LGBTQ or are questioning themselves, it's a lot of the population of the world, so this speaks to the world. And even if you don't identify in that way, you know someone that does, or you have someone in your life — even if you don't know they do —that might be struggling with that. It's something that affects who we are as human beings. 

When you came out to your fans on Instagram, was that in the middle of production?
It was a few weeks after. Two or three weeks after wrapping.

Was that a surprise to the cast and crew? Had you come out to them previously?

It's kind of interesting. I was out to my cast at The Flash, I was out to some family and a lot of friends, but I went into this film, and I still hid myself from everyone. I didn't know how to be myself, and I didn't tell them. I was in a relationship at the time with a guy, and I didn't even tell them that. It took me until the last day, until wrap time, to tell my cast. And I remember that made me really upset. I was speaking to one of my friends and I was like, "I don't know why I'm so scared. I'm on a LGBT film, playing this character, there's a gay director, everyone is so supportive. I couldn't be in a better environment. And my friend, she sort of just advised, "Don't be down on yourself. Maybe reflect on that." [And I thought,] wow, that's really interesting that I have all of these perfect things in place that I thought would make me feel comfortable but I still haven't figured it out. And so that made me think a lot. It made me really dig deep, and I realized that I was harboring shame. Despite having accepted myself, I realized, like, I'm not embracing this. I've just accepted [that] this is who I am, and looking at it as though I have to deal with this thing that I have.

How did you come out to the cast and crew on that final day?

Before we got to the after-party, we just went out for drinks. Like, all the cast and I. I don't even know how I said it, but I just said it to the group, and they were of course really supportive and I explained to them that I wish I had said something earlier. It was great. It's an interesting thing to go through that kind of growth and learn those lessons while your character is also learning those lessons. I'm very thankful for it.

Did you bring any of your own experiences into Bram's character?

Yeah. 100%. I knew exactly what it felt like to be in the closet. I knew exactly in that moment what it felt like to play straight and to try to be that young, cool straight guy and to really work on that. I'd worked on it a lot on myself so that I'd never let anyone in. So I definitely tapped into all of that stuff and at the same time, Bram... he comes across as quite a happy, chill guy, but he's dealing with a lot of pain, and I think that's what a lot of people don't often realize [about others]. Whether it's depression or insecurities or something with their sexuality, they can appear as absolutely awesome, like, everything is great. Humans are really good at acting.

When you were reflecting on why you first didn't feel comfortable coming out, you mentioned shame. Did the nature of Hollywood play a role in that at all? There is this idea that openly queer actors get sidelined into smaller roles. Was that a fear of yours?

That's something that I had been told, even by other actors, even by other queer actors. It's something that did happen a lot in the past, and I'm sure even now has happened. That's why movies like this are important. It's showing, no no no. We can be the leads in these love stories.

I'm also aware that I'm playing this superhero character [as Wally West in The Flash], and I was aware of that before and during coming out. I think it just takes people to let go of that fear and to make the moves in order for that narrative to change.

A lot of it was that fear. Because there wasn't enough representation, whether it was acting or music. I didn't feel like there was enough for me to look up to when I was younger. So it's scary. It's really scary to do what feels impossible. Once I realized that not only was it possible, but it's important, and this is better for my sanity, that's when I was able to make that shift. 

Do you think that even in 2018, you will face some of that type-casting? Do you think that's still going on?

I mean, I think it's totally possible, but it's not anything that I'm afraid of or even worried about it. I think if there's a director, casting director, producer, studio that can't see past the bullshit way of thinking—don't mind my language—then they're not people I want to work with. It's as simple as that. I know now what I have to offer as an actor regardless of my sexuality. It's important that I work with people where they know why they're hiring me and that they're looking to create art without fear. Anyone who uses those excuses to not cast people or to create extremely stereotypical characters, they're creating out of fear, and to me that's really boring.

Are there any future stories that you want to be able to tell as an actor?

I'd be really honored to do more LGBTQ stories. As much as they're being highlighted at the moment, there still isn't that much of them. There's a lot to the story. And there are a lot of things I've learned about myself and about love, and I'm really grateful for the lessons, and I hope I can share that through art. I look for projects that allow me to do that, whether it's music or acting.

Even watching Queer Eye. Watching Queer Eye, I'm like, "Oh my god. Like, help me with my life." It's such an important show, and it's providing a space for audiences to watch different people come together and realize they're the same. That's the kind of content that moves the world, it's the kind of content that makes me cry, it's the kind of content that I think inspires us to be who we're meant to be.

Is there a word or label you prefer to describe your sexuality?

In the past, and even up till now, I haven't used labels. As much as I think that in the future future, we won't need labels, at the moment they're really important. So I'm making myself embrace that. I truly am proud to be queer. Even watching Queer Eye is something that inspired me to say that. So that's the power of representation.

by Michael Waters

It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage.

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