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We’ve been talking a lot about coming out.
What’s a good time?
Do people really need to do it anymore? The answer is yes.
I know plenty of people who live double lives. They are open with some friends, not all; closeted to their families and sometimes even their co-workers. They’re afraid of being judged.
Afraid of hurting someone they love, very often a parent or a grandparent just for simply sharing with them a simple fact about who they are.
Imagine being afraid to tell the people you love most in the world about someone you have a crush on, someone you’re dating, someone you’re planning to marry.
Imagine the effort it would take to keep all of that a secret.
And not only that: keep track of the people you’ve told and haven’t told, and then make sure those people, all of whom are in your life, are never in the same place at the same time.
It ain’t easy. I’ve been there.
Coming out is a very personal decision. One must do it in their own time and at their own pace; and while it was my personal choice to come out to family members, co-workers and friends in my 20’s. I didn’t come out publicly to everyone else until just a few years ago.
While I cannot speak for Robin Roberts nor any of my recently out, gay colleagues, I didn’t do it because I was afraid of losing my livelihood.
I was afraid that you the viewer would no longer watch me. I was afraid of people like Phil Robertson who claim to love everyone while simultaneously thinking that everyone’s love isn’t equal; the people who use religion and scripture to shield bigotry now towards gays and in the past towards women and African-Americans.
Like I hope it does for Robin, empowerment quickly replaced fear once I revealed my truth not just to some but to everyone.
And if people like Phil Robertson are deserving of keeping their platforms, and can even be celebrated. Then people like Don Lemon or Thomas Roberts or Rachel Maddow or Sam Champion or Jenna Wolf or Anderson Cooper or Robin Roberts are also deserving of their platforms and can be celebrated as well.
That’s why it’s still important to “come out” and say very simply…I’m gay.
Out and Proud Celebrities
25 photos Launch gallery
1. EJ Johnson
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2. Robin Roberts announced her sexual orientation on Facebook in 2013. (Photo: AP)
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3. CNN Anchor Don Lemon
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4. Previously married to a man for seven years, Wanda Sykes officially came out in 2008.
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5. NBA player Jason Collins
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6. Fitness trainer Shaun T came out in 2013 and married his longtime boyfriend.
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7. Michael Sam announced he was gay in an ESPN interview.
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8. Singer Meshell Ndegeocello is an open lesbian and huge advocate for gay rights.(PR)
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9. Orlando Cruz is the first active, openly gay boxer.
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10. Elton John announced he was gay in 1976, and has been openly out since. (PR)
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11. Director and Producer Paris Barclay has been with his partner for 14 years. (PR)
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12. R&B singer Frank Ocean recently divulged to the world that his first love was a man. (AP)
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13. André Leon Talley, fashion icon and editor at Vogue Magazine. (PR)
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14. TV personality and hair stylist Miss Lawrence.
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15. Singer Melissa Etheridge announced she was a lesbian in 1993 and has been a huge gay rights activist since. (PR)
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16. "Precious" and "The Butler" director Lee Daniels
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17. Andre Charles or famously known as drag queen RuPaul has been openly gay for many years. (PR)
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18. Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi have been married for four years. (PR)
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19. Famous Latino singer Ricky Martin finally came out as gay in 2010. (PR)
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20. Famous Choreographer Bill T. Jones is openly gay. (PR)
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21. Former N'Sync band member Lance Bass announced he was gay in 2006. (PR)
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22. "Fast Car" singer Tracy Chapman. (PR)
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23. Anderson Cooper came out in an open email to fans. (AP)
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24. Celebrity hair Stylist and TV personality Derek J.
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25. Catwalk coach Miss J. Alexander.
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16 photos Launch gallery
1. WNBA star Glory Johnson
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2. College basketball star Derrick Gordon announced he was gay on Instagram on April 9, 2014.
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3. College Football star Michael Sam
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4. Former WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes
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5. NBA player Jason Collins
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6. WNBA player Brittney Griner
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7. Former NBA player John Amaechi
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8. Legendary Tennis player Billie Jean King
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9. Boxer Orlando Cruz
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10. Former NFL player Kwame Harris
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11. Former Olympic diver Greg Louganis
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12. Former MLB outfielder Glenn Burke
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13. Former Tennis star Martina Navratalova
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14. Former Soccer player Justin Fashanu
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15. Esera Tuaolo
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16. Megan Rapinoe
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