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Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014

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"I think coming out...is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known, and now you're sharing that honestly with people for the first time."

2014faces2Such is how Rodrigo Lehtinen, the trans son of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, explained to CBS Miami last month what it meant for him to now be open about who he is.

It's as simple as that, whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or some fluid combination of any of them. But it's certainly an act of courage in a world where LGBTQ people face obstacles in marriage, employment, and even basic acceptance. In many places, the status of being 'out' about one's sexual orientation or gender identity is dangerous, even life-threatening.

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.

When it comes to coming out, 2014 was certainly the year of the athlete.

Of the 80 people on our list this year, more than 1/3 come from the sports world — football, baseball, boxing, tennis, long distance running, hurling, basketball, rowing, and diving. Many of these athletes are making a name for themselves in college sports, many in conservative places. Twenty-one come from the entertainment world. And they are from all over the world — Japan, Peru, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Spain, Chile, and more... Also, the leader of a company worth more than all the world's airlines combined, worth more than the entire Russian stock market.

It's quite an impressive group of folks. We're proud of all of you. By choosing to come out as L, G, B, T, queer, or whatever label your sexual orientation or gender identity is telling you is yours, you've made life easier for all those who haven't come out yet, and all those who are currently struggling for their civil and human rights.

Please enjoy reading their stories. And share this post with your friends, family, and anyone in the closet to whom you'd like to offer a bit of courage or support.

 

Read on, AFTER THE JUMP...

Contributions to this post were made earlier this year by Kyler Geoffroy, Sean Mandell, Joseph Ehrman-Dupre, Steve Pep, Brian Sloan, Daniel Villareal, Anthony Costello, Jim Redmond, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, John Wright, and Jake Folsom.

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Continue reading "Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" »


Newly-Out Gay Principal Leads Thousands in Student Protest of WBC: VIDEO

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Wilson High School Principal Pete Cahall, who came out as gay to his students at the D.C. school's annual Pride Day last week, led hundreds in a counterprotest of the Westboro Baptist Church today. The WBC had come to picket the school because of its strong support for LGBT students.

WJZ reports:

More than 2,000 students and teachers took part in the counter-protest.

“Education breeds tolerance and hatemongers breed ignorance,” said a participant.
“When I was in high school, we really didn’t include the LGBT community but these students are insisting that we do that and I just couldn’t be prouder,” said a participant.

“I just couldn’t imagine what happened today in my wildest dreams,” said Cahall.
The rally lasted about an hour. Police escorted members of the Westboro Baptist Church from the area.

Four hundred members of the surrounding community also showed up at the students’ event

Monday outside the school.

Watch WJZ's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Newly-Out Gay Principal Leads Thousands in Student Protest of WBC: VIDEO" »


Here is Video of Wilson HS Principal Pete Cahall Coming Out as Gay to His School: WATCH

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Earlier today we reported that Principal Pete Cahall  at Wilson High School in D.C. shocked his students when he came out of the closet at a school Pride event.

StudentCahall was flanked Mayor Vincent C. Gray and David Catania, the D.C. Council’s first openly gay member.

Here's some great video of Cahall making the announcement, his hands shaking, then doubling over with relief as his students cheer and then rush the stage to give him hugs.

Cahall is 50 years old. He told ABC7 that he felt it would have been hypocritical for him to host a school Pride event while holding on to his secret, and that he found courage in the recent disclosures by NBA player Jason Collins and NFL player Michael Sam.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Here is Video of Wilson HS Principal Pete Cahall Coming Out as Gay to His School: WATCH" »


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