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Villanova Swimmer Comes Out to Teammates In Emotional Speech: 'I Don't Want to be Ashamed Anymore'

Murtha

Ryan Murtha, a swimmer at Villanova University, is sharing the story of how he came out as gay to his teammates early last month in an article over at Outsports

Murtha, who spent years living with his secret, received a confidence boost after talking about the coming out processes with a guy he was secretly dating and other gay people. He decided to tell his fellow swimmers during a team meeting after the first practice of the new year - sharing his "coming out speech" that had been saved on his computer as a file called "Tax Returns 1994".

So this is tough for me and I apologize for taking so long to tell you guys this, but it took me forever to admit to myself and then it's been really hard to work up the courage to say it.

I'm gay. I've tried to bury this part of myself for a long time but slowly grew to accept it over the past year and a half. I want you guys to know that this isn't something that I chose. I was just born with it.

Anyway, I want you to know that I'm still the same person that I've been. I hope you guys don't see me any differently because of this. I don't think it should define me totally; it's just one of many parts that make up who I am.

But if for whatever reason you don't like me because of this, I guess I can't blame you because for a long time I hated myself for being gay, too. I made myself believe that living with this shame was worth not losing any of my friendships. But I don't want to be ashamed anymore. And I've kind of felt like I wouldn't be able to 100% accept myself and move on until I could be truthful with my friends. That's you guys. So if you're down to stick around and still be my friend, I can't even begin to say how grateful I would be.

If you have any questions or if you want to talk to me about it, feel free.

After a moment of silence, Murtha's teammates broke out into applause and rallied around him. They assured him they still loved him and that his declaration wouldn't change a thing.

A lifelong Boy Scout, Murtha realizes that his dream of becoming a Scout leader will sadly no longer be possible now that he's openly gay. In 2013, the organization chose to lift it's ban on gay Scouts but keep in place its prohibition on any gay person working with youth from a leadership position. 

Says Murtha:

Murtha1"It seems hypocritical not letting gay leaders into the Scouts. The Scout Law lays it out pretty clearly. 'A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.' The policy prohibiting gay people goes against a lot of those points...It sucks. I met my best friends in Boy Scouts. I have the best memories of it, and my brothers all went through it. It's been such a big part of my family and I learned so much of it. It shaped who I am today. I have a desire to give back to the next generation of Scouts, but I'm not allowed. It hurts. It feels like rejection."

Murtha adds that he has also come out to his Catholic parents, who are still struggling but have offered him love and support. 

Check out the full article over at Outsports here


Latina Supermodel Patricia Velasquez Comes Out in New Memoir: 'I Want to At Least Start a Dialogue' - VIDEO

Velazquez bernhard

VelaThe world’s first Latina supermodel Patricia Velasquez has come out as a lesbian in her new memoir Straight Walk, reports the New York Post.

In the book, Velasquez says she felt compelled to come out because of anti-gay prejudice in the Latin community.

She describes her time in the South American beauty pageant system, her rise to fame - and how her life changed when she met Sandra Bernhard backstage at a fashion show.

The supermodel explains that she felt an instant connection with Bernhard, with whom she was “was deeply in love...in a way I’d never experienced before.”

Velasquez doesn’t go into details about the relationship but writes that the “cried for two years over Sandra” when the relationship came to an end.

Watch backstage interviews with Velasquez and Bernhard from 1994, with Bernhard waxing lyrical about the model, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

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UK Evangelical Leader Comes Out As Lesbian, Rejects ‘Ex-Gay’ Past: VIDEO

Jayne Ozanne

Jayne Ozanne, one of England’s leading evangelical leaders and a failed “ex-gay”, has come out as lesbian and accepted a position as head of a pro-gay evangelical Christian organization, reports Think Progress.

As a high-profile lay faith leader, Ozanne took part in “deliverance ministry,” a harmful practice similar to “ex-gay” therapy which has been banned in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C. Last month, Virginia introduced a bill banning "ex-gay" therapy for minors.

A founding member of the Archbishops’ Council, Ozanne's repeated failed efforts to pray away the gay ultimately culminated in a nervous breakdown.

She came out to a select group in 2009 and had a five-year relationship with a woman. 

However, when Christian musician Vicky Beeching came out last year Ozanne was inspired to accept the position as head of Accepting Evangelicals, a “network of Evangelical Christians who believe the time has come to move towards the acceptance of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships at every level of church life, and the development of a positive Christian ethic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

SchizzelWatch Ozanne explain her decision to come out, AFTER THE JUMP...

The ailing "ex-gay" movement has recently seen a number of high profile announcements from former “ex-gay” activists attacking “conversion therapy”. Last December, survivor Christian Schizzel (right) exposed his harmful "conversion" therapy at the hands Janet Boynes Ministries and GOP nuts Michele and Marcus Bachmann’s “counseling” services.

 

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Actor Joel Grey Comes Out Publicly: 'I'm a Gay Man'

Actor Joel Grey is speaking out about his sexual orientation publicly for the first time at 82, to People magazine:

Grey"I don't like labels," says Grey, "but if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man."

While it's not a secret to his friends and family, the entertainer's never spoken about it publicly before. "All the people close to me have known for years who I am," Grey tells PEOPLE. "[Yet] it took time to embrace that other part of who I always was."

Grey was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years. They have two children - actress Jennifer Grey and a son James.

Jennifer spoke to People as well:

"I feel very happy for my dad that he has come to a point in his life where he feels safe and comfortable enough to declare himself in a public way as a gay man," Jennifer tells PEOPLE. "Mostly because the more people are free to own their true nature and can hopefully come closer to love and accept themselves as they really are, no matter what age, no matter how long it takes, to finally be free of the lies or half truths, it is freedom."

More at People....


Woman Surprises Co-Workers, Comes Out In Emotional TED Talk: VIDEO

Bailey

Morgana Bailey, a Human Resources professional, recently came out at TED@State Street London's talk, surprising her colleagues at the event who did not know she was a lesbian. Bailey even hid the truth from the TED organizers about why she wanted to speak and what her talk would be about. But hiding was something that had become all too routine for Bailey. "Hiding is a progressive habit," she says. For 16 years, Bailey hid her sexual orientation. The ripple effect of living a life dictated by hiding and secrecy was profound. A girl who was once unconventional and vivacious instead sought to conform to avoid being found out. 

However, emboldened by what she saw as a larger moral and social imperative, Bailey finally decided to come out. Said Bailey:

I am a lesbian. I’ve struggled to say those words because I didn’t want to be defined by them. Every time I would think about coming out in the past I would think to myself, but I just want to be known as Morgana, uniquely Morgana but not my lesbian friend Morgana or my gay co-worker Morgana. Just Morgana. For those of you from large metropolitan areas this may not seem like a big deal to you. It may seem strange that I have supressed the truth and hidden this for so long. But I was paralyzed by my fear of not being accepted. And I’m not alone of of course.

Bailey cites statistics that show that 83% of LGBT employees admitted changing some aspect of themselves at work so they would not appear too gay. "Employees struggled to be themselves at work because they believe conformity is critical to their long-term career advancement," Bailey said. 

Bailey was also alarmed by an article she read in The Advocate that found that LGBT people living in anti-gay communities have a life expectancy 12 years lower than their heterosexual peers. This statistic combined with the others underscored for Bailey the danger in not being who you are:

“The article made me realize that my silence had personal, professional and economic consequences. I’m not saying that everyone has to be an activist. But if we let our true selves be known at every opportunity for education and awareness, we will help enrich our own lives and help advance our rights within society.”

Watch Bailey's inspiring TED Talk, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ellen Meets Dad and Gay Twins Who Came Out in Emotional Viral YouTube Clip: VIDEO

Ellen

Last week popular YouTube vloggers Austin and Aaron Rhodes posted a video they shot of themselves coming out to their father shortly after coming out to their 56,000 subscribers.

TwinsThe emotional video quickly went viral and has been viewed more than 14.5 million times as of this posting.

Ellen DeGeneres this week welcomed Aaron, Austin and their dad to her show. After hearing the twins' story, Ellen spoke with dad, who told his side of the story:

"When they called I knew they were crying and something was wrong. As a father you just feel it. What's wrong? I could hear it coming from them, their voices. When they told me, I just felt as though, the only thing  came through me was 'I love you both. I love you both unconditionally. You're my children. I can't undo being your father and I don't want to...' I really feel like now there's a weight off both our sides. Now I feel like we can talk about anything. I was very proud of my boys."

Ellen praised his reaction:

"That is the right thing to say ... 'I love you both'. Even if you don't fully understand it right now there are ways to understand it and time will help with that...I can't tell you how amazing it is for you to just love them and accept them."

Ellen also gave the twins a special gift to help them get settled in L.A..

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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