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04/19/2007


'Top Chef' Winner Kristen Kish Comes Out

Kish

Kristen Kish, the 2012 winner of Top Chef and the second female winner in the show's history, came out of the closet last week, posting a photo of her girlfriend Jacqueline Westbrook on Instagram, with the caption:

Helicopter ride over Charleston. Happy 1 year love. You've made me incredibly happy

She also quietly made the announcement in a New York Times magazine article published on Sunday about female chefs.


NCAA Football Player Mitch Eby Comes Out as Gay

Eby

Outsports reports on another moving coming out in the football world.

Mitch Eby is a junior defensive end on the Chapman University Football team, who reached out to Willamette University kicker Commer Mertens, who came out of the closet (the first active college football player to do so) in January as he was struggling with the decision to tell his team:

For Eby, who had only ever come out to one other person, talking with Mertens was a revelation. The two kibitzed over football, Eby shared his fears about coming out and Mertens talked about his experience with telling his team. Mertens had chosen to have his Willamette team read a letter from him at a team meeting - without himself present.

Eby knew he wanted to tell his team himself, but there was some work to be done before that was possible.

After telling his head coach and his roommates, who were also teammates, Eby gave a speech to his team, which read, in part:

I am ready to share with you all that I am gay.

"It has taken me years to accept myself for who I truly am, so it's irrational to expect everybody to unconditionally accept me right away. However, the one thing that I hope that I can count on from each of you, my teammates, is your respect. Your respect as a friend, your respect as a teammate, and your respect as a man.

"Being gay may be something that defines me, but it does not limit me. It is such a small part of who I am. I am the same person you all know, no different than before. I'm still the kid that is obsessed with pretty much anything having to do with sports, I'm still the kid that some of you love to call stupid nicknames like ‘mom' and ‘hot dog,' and I'm still someone who will continue to go out there every day and push myself and push my teammates to be the best football team around. I am your teammate, I am your classmate and I am your brother. And I know that my brothers will continue to stand by my side, no matter what."

When he had finished speaking, the team erupted in applause. Eby smiled, taken aback by the overwhelming response. As the clapping ceased, Eby broke the silence with the most profound words he would share all night: "So how about some pizza?"

Read Eby's full story over at Outsports.

Athlete Ally Founder Hudson Taylor responded to Eby's coming out in a statement provided to Towleroad:

“Mitch is demonstrating great courage and leadership by publicly coming out as gay while still actively playing college football. While the decision to take this step is a deeply personal one, it impacts countless other young closeted athletes who will wrestle with how to compete and live their lives authentically. Today represents another important step in making sports a welcoming environment for all."


Swedish Football Player Marcus Juhlin Comes Out as Gay

Sweden-marcus-juhlin-mainAn (American) football player in Sweden, inspired by the coming out of Michael Sam earlier this year, has followed suit with an announcement of his own.  

22-year-old Marcus Juhlin made the proclamation in the April issue of the European gay magazine QX. 

Out reports:

He's the first American football player in Sweden to come out, and according to the QX team, the reaction from his team mates and from the other teams in the league have been amazing. "They all support and respect him,"QX editor in chief Anders Öhrmantold us. Marcus sent an email to QX in December stating: ”Please help me come out from the closet and close that door once and for all.” And they did. Juhlin lives in the city of Karlstad and is playing for Carlstad Crusaders. Oh, and in case you're curious, he is single.


Neon Trees Lead Singer Tyler Glenn Comes Out: 'I Am a Happy and Healthy Mormon Gay Pop Star'

Glenn

Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn comes out as gay in the new issue of Rolling Stone:

Glenn says he's known he was gay since he was a young child, but kept his sexuality a secret — until now. "I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my twenties," he admits. "Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world." (Read the full feature on RollingStone.com tomorrow, March 25th).

"We were always taught, and I hate this word, 'tolerance,'" he says, regarding his church's stance on homosexuality, which is notoriously fraught. "The only time that felt different was when the Prop 8 thing came up," he says, referring to when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spent an estimated $22 million fighting same-sex marriage in California in 2008.

Tweeted Glenn this afternoon:

"Yes. I am a happy and healthy Mormon gay pop star. I don't know what it all means, but I'm ok with it. "


17-Year-Old Japanese Student Comes Out In Inspiring 'I Have a Dream, Too' Speech: VIDEO

Japan

This past December, a seventeen-year-old Japanese student entered the Hokkaido Prefectural English Speech Contest, held in Sapporo, Japan and gave a rousing speech on LGBT rights. Little is known at this time about the young man who gave the oration which began with an examination of Russia’s recently enacted anti-gay laws and the controversy over the then-upcoming Sochi Olympics. The student asked, 

Why do gay people have to face discrimination? Is it because they are not heterosexual? Is it a sin to love somebody of the same gender? The law cannot control love or people's feelings.

However, what began as a more academic examination of persecutions LGBT people face quickly became personal:

I have faced discrimination too. I am gay. I realized this when I was a junior high-school student, although I never told anybody somehow my classmates guessed that I was. They rejected me and treated me like I was not a human being; one girl said to me "I can't believe someone like you exists". It made me feel like I was completely alone. In high school I decided to keep my secret safe and never tell anyone about who I really am on the inside. But this year I wanted to stop hiding that part of myself.

The student went on point out the differences between attitudes towards LGBT person in the United States and Europe and the rest of the world, particularly Japan:

In Japan, we are afraid of being different, but we don't show our hate so openly. It is silent discrimination. If nobody talks about the problem then it doesn't exist. Many gay people in Japan hide who they really are because they are afraid of being rejected, not with angry words or threats of violence, but with isolation. Being gay in Japan is a very lonely existence.

Maybe it will be difficult for me to live my life just like other people. But this is my life. I'm going to live it no matter what people say. Martin Luther King once said "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." When I feel scared I often think of this quote. Making this speech was my first step, I never thought that I could tell people that I am gay.

 I too have a dream. One day down in the meadows of Hokkaido, gay people and straight people are chatting together and eating BBQ in the sunshine. I have a dream of a world without any prejudice, hate or ignorance which causes blind discrimination against what we can't understand. I can see the road ahead will be difficult, but I must be brave. Not just for myself, but for other young people like me.

You can read the full transcript of the speech and watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "17-Year-Old Japanese Student Comes Out In Inspiring 'I Have a Dream, Too' Speech: VIDEO" »


'Game of Thrones' Actor Kristian Nairn Comes Out: 'The Gay Community' is 'MY Community'

Nairn

Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor on Game of Thrones, came out of the closet publicly in an interview at Winter is Coming.

Nairn was asked about his big following in the gay community, specifically the Bear community.

Said Nairn:

Well, in all honesty, when you talk about “the gay community,” you are talking about MY community, haha. I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. There’s not a day that I don’t get a few messages, but 99% or more are super sweet and nothing smutty at all! Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that. I’ve never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, cos it’s not something you just blurt out. I’ve tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!


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