Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the thirteenth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.
In honor of the upcoming 27th Annual National Coming Out Day I wanted to share some coming out stories that I have found inspirational and moving. (go here to learn more about National Coming Out Day 2015)
I’m lucky enough to have a connection with Wendy Williams Montgomery, the Mormon mother in the video “Families Are Forever” and she is truly an inspiration to many families who have come out of the closet as being supportive and affirming of their lgbt kid.
Ellen Page made headlines after coming out at HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference in 2014 and has continued to share the positive impact coming out has had on her life.
Austin and Aaron Rhodes, YouTube stars and twin brothers, filmed themselves coming out to their father over the phone and posted the emotional video online.
Parker Camp came out in 2014 when he was on the swim team at the University of Virginia. It can be very difficult for male athletes to come out but Parker said that coming out to his teammates at the University of Virginia was easy compared to coming out to his family. Go HERE to read Parker’s coming out story.
Sometimes those recieving the news are just as inspiring as those who are coming out. Amanda Hite writes about coming out to her grandparents.
You can go HERE and read the story in The Huffington Post.
I absolutely adore the story about how the former lacrosse player, Andrew Goldstein, reached out to encourage a 12 year old lacrosse player who was struggling with being gay.
Go HERE for the full story.
Please share any other inspirational coming out stories in the comments!
SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS:
Coming out happens in different ways, at different times for different people. Each person must determine what is right for them. Coming out can sometimes have a negative impact on people in the immediate moment – therefore, now might not always be the best time to come out.
I always encourage people to be thoughtful about coming out, to seek some wise counsel and to take some time to consider the outcome. Coming out is ultimately freeing but timing is important. I would never encourage a young person to come out to their parents if they thought it could cause them to be homeless or to lose their ability to finish school. Some people have to consider that coming out could cost them their job and may need to prepare for that possibility. I look forward to the day when coming out is no big deal but for now it can sometimes be a difficult and even risky step to take.
I encourage all parents to be gentle and loving with your child if they come out to you no matter what you believe. A child that comes out to his parent is probably doing one of the bravest things they have ever attempted to do. They are probably afraid and worried about the reaction they will receive from their parents. You will never regret showing your child love and support at such a time.
If anyone reading this wants to join a private facebook group for moms of lgbt kids please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject. The group is a place where moms of lgbt kids can learn to develop and maintian healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their kids. There are more than 600 moms in the group and it is a place where a lot of support, encouragement and information is shared. It helps a lot to be on the journey with others as we walk with our kids on this new adventure.