#ComingOut

When Being Perfect Isn't Enough - Short Film 'Straight A'

Check out this thoughtful short film, Straight A, from actor/writer Todd Lien.

Lien wrote, produced and starred in the short as his thesis film for the New York Film Academy’s MFA program.

The handsome actor says the movie is based on the true story of his own coming out to his father.

Lien plays a version of himself in the 8 minute film as he struggles to maintain a long-term relationship with his boyfriend Kyle (Zach Cramblit) while keeping up the image of the perfect son to his father (Nathan Chen).

In the movie, it appears being an over-achiever who gets straight A’s in school and is elected president of the student body isn’t enough for the father.

Or is it?

Watch Straight A below:

Lein shares this note on the YouTube page:

I am grateful for the supporting father I have, but I want to be clear that I know this is not how many people's experiences are like. I just want to share some happy ending story like mine out there for more positivity and hope! The message is that sometimes we need to give our parents a little more credit for acceptance. Hope this video does that for as many people out there as possible!

Lien’s film credits include The Choice (2017), Alpha Delta Zatan (2017) and the TV miniseries Bob’s New Roommates (2017).

But wait - there's more!

He’s also a part of the Asian Magic Mike troupe! Whoo-hoo!

 

The hottie is not only talented on screen and down with the sexy moves onstage, but waaay photogenic, as his 20K Instagram followers have discovered.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Todd Lien (@toddlien_official) on

 

(h/t Towleroad)

Out College Football Player Gets Emotional Meeting Ellen

Ellen sat down with out Indiana State University football player Jake Bain, who inspired the nation with his coming out speech during a high school assembly in St. Louis, Missouri, two years ago.

Jake chats with Ellen about his coming out experience, the support he’s received over the past two years, and his hopes to inspire other athletes in college sports to have the courage to also come out.

The handsome college freshman was emotional about meeting one of his idols, saying, “Can I first just say, before I came out, I used to watch your show, like, all the time, and it means so much to me to actually be here now.” 

“You’ve done so much for the entire LGBT community, and humanity as a whole,” he continued. “It just means so much to me to be on your show.”

Ellen points up the good that Jake has done by coming out and hopefully giving other college athletes the courage to come out.

“It’s a really conflicting thing to feel really proud of yourself and good at something, and then in the back of your mind have shame or carry shame around,” said Ellen.

“If everyone had the courage to do what you did, then we wouldn’t have that homophobia, we wouldn’t have that fear,” she added. “And so, you’re going to inspire other people the way I inspired you.”

On top of doing great at Indiana State (full football scholarship, don’t you know?), the good news is he’s still with his high school boyfriend, Hunter Sigmund.

The boys see each other whenever they can since Hunter goes to school hours away at the University of North Carolina. So, Hunter tagged along for the Ellen appearance.

And you knew this was coming - since Jake can’t accept gifts due to NCAA rules, Ellen gives Hunter a 6-night vacay to Fiji. 

Gee, I wonder who Hunter could take with him…?

Watch Jake Bain on ELLEN below.

 

(h/t Outsports)

Popular Online Game 'Overwatch' Reveals Fan Favorite Character Soldier 76 Is Gay

Overwatch just gained yet another popular gay character.

Two years ago, the online role-playing shooter game published by Blizzard Entertainment revealed that a character in the game, who also happened to be its mascot, was gay.

Blizzard made the reveal through a special Christmas themed comic in which Tracer was revealed to be spending the holiday with her girlfriend Emily.

Blizzard then told IGN in a statement that “Tracer is a lesbian on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.”

But now, it looks like Tracer’s not alone, as another popular character has been revealed to be gay.

A recent short story titled “Bastet” shows Soldier 76, real name John Francis “Jack” Morrison, worrying over the struggle of keeping a relationship while working as a professional soldier.

As an excerpt for the short story shows:

Jack laughed. “[Vincent] got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”

Ana was unconvinced. In the early days, Jack talked about [Vincent] often, floating a dream that the war would end quickly, and maybe he’d have a chance to return to a normal life.

But a normal life was never the reward for people like us.

“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was to protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”

Related: Twitch Streamer & Gaming Executive Adam Fletcher Came Out

“Bastet” author Michael Chu, who also wrote the Tracer digital comic, confirmed that Soldier 76 identifies as gay.

The 40 million people across the globe who play this game monthly were surprised by the recent short story. Some straight male players are lamenting, as they saw the ex-military/Americana/professional soldier and his macho persona as representation for them. That said, many LGBTQ players and geek/gaming enthusiasts celebrated the announcement.

Twitch Streamer & Gaming Executive Adam Fletcher Came Out

Another professional video gamer has come out as a gay.

Adam Fletcher is a Twitch streamer and video game executive. He also works for Blizzard Entertainment as the Esports product lead for Warcraft III: Reforged and StarCraft: Remastered.

On Sunday, Fletcher posted a thread of tweets in which he came out as gay.

“I’ve typed this tweet maybe 10+ times this year because I haven’t figured out a proper way of saying it... I’m gay,” wrote Fletcher.

Fletcher then shared that he’s been afraid of what coming out will do to his close relationships and his career, but he decided to take the leap of faith anyway.

Fletcher then said that not only were his close friends supportive of him, but so too were his coworkers.

He finished the Twitter thread to share how touched he is by the support of those close to him, and that has given him the strength to come out publicly.

Congratulations to him.

This is the latest event in the growing visibility of LGBTQ people in the gaming world. Top gamer Dominique McLean came out last Summer on Twitter, and then again when he won the Best ESports Player Award at the 2018 Game Awards. During his acceptance speech, he proclaimed that he’s a black, gay furry wo’s also the world’s best gamer.

Then, South Korean video gamer Hyeon “Effect” Hwang came out as Bisexual in late December saying that he was “finally putting down this burden after the hard time of hiding.”

Hopefully, these men will have helped other players to feel accepted in the world of gaming.

Video: Hottie Pro Wrestler Anthony Bowens Now Identifies As Gay, Not Bi

Professional wrestler Anthony Bowens has come out - again.

After coming out in 2017 as bisexual, Bowens now says he’s come to the point where the term doesn’t really apply to him today.

“It’s on to a new year, a new journey and, apparently, a new label,” says the hunky 28-year-old.

“The main purpose of this video is to tell everybody that I prefer to be labeled now as gay,” he begins. In advance of the reactions he’s bracing for, Bowens admits, “There’s going to be ‘thank you, it’s great that you’re being open and honest and we love you,’ there’s going to be the ‘well, we knew that,’ and there’s going to be the ‘bi now gay later’ people.”

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anthony Bowens (@bowens_official) on

 

The hunky wrestler says he initially identified as bisexual as he “didn’t know much about the LGBTQ community” and he had been attracted to both genders. 

While he still advocates for bisexuality (‘100 percent’), Bowens says, “As you get older, your viewpoints change; the way you look at the world changes; the way you look at yourself changes.”

He shares that recently, in looking back at some old articles featuring him, he realized the word ‘bisexual’ was used over and over to describe him.

“It was kind of annoying me that they had to continually put what I was,” he lamented. “I couldn’t just be a professional wrestler, I was the ‘bisexual pro wrestler,’ but I just wasn’t identifying with that term any more.”

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We had a great weekend and we hope everyone else did too! Enjoy your Sunday! @michaelpavano Photo Cred: @jastaylor__

A post shared by Anthony Bowens (@bowens_official) on

 

Bowens’ relationship with boyfriend Michael Pavano, who he met in 2016, also has impacted the way he views himself.

“I’m in love with Michael, I want to marry Michael, I’m picturing myself being with a man for the rest of my life, so the term ‘bisexual’ felt less and less me the more time went on,” he tells his YouTube audience. “And I now feel more comfortable labeling myself as ‘gay.’”

The athlete also stresses that he didn’t use the term ‘bisexual’ as a gateway to ‘gay.’ It’s just how life unfolded for him.

“There are some people out there who will use that just because they are afraid to say that they’re gay, but not everybody’s like that, and I don’t think they should be judged for it because everybody has their own way of figuring themselves out,” explains Bowen.

“Please don’t be a hypocrite,” implores Bowen. “I think it’s very hypocritical as people who identify as LGBT who get judged by a lot of people about our lifestyle, then turn around and judge others in the same community.”

Amen, Anthony.

You can watch ‘COMING OUT…again’ below.
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monthly mirror pic and final one of the year. Can you believe how fast 2018 went?

A post shared by Anthony Bowens (@bowens_official) on

 

(h/t Instagram)

'The Jungle Cruise' Test Screening Shows Jack Whitehall's Character Doesn't Say The Word "Gay"

A recent test screening for the upcoming Disney film The Jungle Cruise, revealed that Jack Whitehall’s character won’t mention that he’s gay.

Back in August, the internet blew a fuse when it found out that Jack Whitehall, a straight comedian, would play Disney’s first ever openly gay character.

Many twitter users worried over the fact that Whitehall is a straight man acting in a gay role, but now there’s even more for the internet to obsess over.

TMZ shares that there was a recent test screening of The Jungle Cruise. They report that Disney apparently avoids using the word “gay” throughout the film. That said, Whitehall’s character McGregor does have a coming out scene. McGregor opens up about his dating history to Dwayne Johnson’s character. McGregor does this by making it clear that he’s not interested in women.

As TMZ writes:

“McGregor explains to ‘Frank’ his family had tried arranging marriages for him with several women, but he didn't wanna marry any of them -- or any woman, for that matter. He also says Emily Blunt's character, Lily (his sister in the movie), was the only one in his fam to accept him and support him regardless of the ‘person’ he loves.”

“We're told the scene was well-received by the audience, but the glaring omission of a pronoun to describe McGregor's love interest did not go unnoticed.”

Despite the public’s outrage when it was revealed Whitehall’s character is gay, we continue to assert that the real concern is with the character itself.

When Whitehall’s role was first described, McGregor was explained to be “hugely effete, very camp and very funny.”

Disney making it’s first openly gay character an effete (meaning incapable of acting or pretentious) and campy man is not the best choice. We want this character to be a part of the jokes and not the butt of them.

Now, this latest development raises even more concerns with the depiction of a gay character. But, we also have to acknowledge why Disney would choose something like this.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

All aboard the Jungle Crusie summer 2020!! #JungleCruise

A post shared by Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) on

First off, The Jungle Cruise is supposedly set in the 1930s. At that time, the word gay was not used to define homosexuality. That said, TMZ did not specify if the scene and movie used a more era appropriate phrase.

At the start of this month, I argued that Marvel should give us gay romances to stand beside Marvel’s horribly written straight ones. In that piece, I accounted for why Hollywood is so hesitant to present gay characters and gay romance.

At the end of the day, the movie making business is still a business and money is king. If blockbuster films from companies like Marvel and Disney want to make the most money, they need to make films that are marketable to everyone. Unfortunately, the inclusion of gay characters/romance makes films less marketable in several regions of the world.

Not only would Disney lose out on money with Conservative America, but it would also lose money with anti-gay countries like Malaysia and China. This is especially important as China continues to grow into a box office juggernaut large enough to rival America.

Also remember that Disney’s last attempt at a gay character, LeFou from Beauty and the Beast who had a “gay moment” in the film, tried to market towards these countries. Malaysia wanted Disney to edit him out of the film, so Disney pulled Beauty and the Beast from Malaysian theaters. Then, China analyzed the film intensely before eventually allowing it to play.

In order to best satisfy everyone, Hollywood creatives and executives have settled on a formula of giving coded references to characters being gay. Characters in blockbuster films like Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Power Rangers, and now The Jungle Cruise, are depicted to be gay by giving vague speeches alluding to their sexualities or actions that have meaning only to those looking for them.

While this openly gay character may not specifically say the word “gay,” it isn’t necessarily an indication of misrepresentation. Instead, it’s a sign of calculated production. Whether you see that as evil, a necessary evil, or an act of heroism is up to you. No matter what, that’s the reality of The Jungle Cruise and gay characters in blockbuster films right now.

As the Jungle Cruise gets closer to release, LGBTQ film fans are waiting patiently to see how this McGregor character is presented. It seems he has become a symbol for gay representation in film at the current moment. Will that be a good thing or a bad thing? We’ll find out when The Jungle Cruise premieres on July 24, 2020.

South Korean Video Gamer Hyeon 'EFFECT' Hwang Came Out As Bisexual

A professional video gamer in South Korea has come out as bisexual.

Hyeon Hwang, known in the gaming world by the nickname EFFECT, is a player on the professional Overwatch team called the Dallas Fuel.

Recently, EFFECT posted to twitter, in his native language, that he’s bisexual.

Thanks to a separate account that translated EFFECT’s initial post, we have the following translation of EFFECT’s message.

“It is true that I am bisexual. I’ve been hiding it since young and never even showed a hint ot anyone except my family (even they got mad immediately). I finally putting down this burden after the hard time of hiding. Sorry for causing the confusion with such sudden announcement [sic].”

LGBTQ visibility is becoming more apparent in the gaming world of late.

Professional gamer Dominique McLean also came out earlier this year on Twitter. The world renown player, who also won the Best Esports Player Award at the 2018 Game Awards, proclaims that he is a black, gay furry who’s also the world’s best gamer.

In addition, video games themselves are becoming more LGBTQ inclusive with intense anticipation for upcoming games like The Last of Us Part 2. Until those games arrive, many indie games have filled the gap with LGBTQ centric stories. This includes games like Newfound Courage, Dream Daddy, Let’s Meat Adam, and more.

Visibility is also something that South Korea gravely needs. While LGBTQ people are living fairly peacefully in the country, excluding in the military, there is still religious-based opposition to them. While thousands showed up to celebrate the Seoul Queer Pride Parade this year, thousands more showed up to protest it.

That said, there is an increase in visibility with LGBTQ celebrities such as the first gay South Korean pop star named Holland who debuted late last year.

Now, EFFECT has joined the fray and created more representation for local and international fans.

Marvel Comics Reversed Young Iceman's Coming Out In Character's Final Moments

Comic book fans are upset by a recent development in Marvel comics. Namely, a six-year saga in the X-Men comic universe has come to an end, but it came with a cost.

In 2012, the X-Men universe welcomed back the young versions of the original X-Men team, Cyclops, Jean Grey as Marvel Girl, The Beast, Iceman, and Angel. This was presented through All-New X-Men No. 1, which found these young superheroes transported through time to the modern era.

Three years later in 2015’s All- New X-Men No. 40, teen Iceman came out as gay in a roundabout way. Teenage Jean Grey read the mind of Iceman and then confronted him on the desires in his unconscious mind. Then after seeing his younger version coming out, an adult Iceman was forced to confront his repressed sexuality.

Many criticized Marvel Comics for its convoluted way of having the character, who was always rumored to be and sometimes coded as a closeted gay man, come out. That said, people are now criticizing how Marvel has now forced him back into the closet… kind of.

The end of the young X-Men saga has finally arrived with the team of time travelers returning to once they came. But, the team decided to wipe their memories to do so.

In the final issue of the Extermination miniseries by Ed Brisson and Pepe Larraz, the young X-Men decide that losing their memories of the future is the best way to protect the timeline. This, however, has the side effect of young Iceman having to forget about ever coming out.

This issue is briefly discussed in the comic with young Iceman saying to his older self that he doesn’t want to forget. The older Iceman attempts at comforting the teen by saying the events have already changed his older self for the better.

Many comics fans have criticized this change as a reversal of younger Iceman’s character development. Some also assert that there’s an anti-gay message and lazy writing being delivered in the act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a fair argument to made here. In a comic franchise where mutants have time traveled constantly without need to erase their memories, why is Iceman the one who has to suffer?

That said, the coming out event itself wasn’t erased and Iceman as a character is still canonically gay. His older character will still continue to go on dates with men in his current solo series. Though having that in mind makes younger Iceman's fate even sadder.

No matter whether you side with the writers or not, we can all agree that this is a sad turn-of-events for LGBTQ comic book fans.

Extermination No. 5 is now available in digital and print forms.

British MP Comes Out As HIV+ In Advance Of World AIDS Day

During a debate today in the House of Commons, Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle courageously came out as HIV positive, making a personal appeal in advance of World AIDS Day to tackle the stigma still associated with HIV/AIDS.

Russell-Moyle becomes the first lawmaker to announce his HIV status in the Commons, and only the second MP to share their HIV+ status with the public.

According to The Guardian, the 32-year-old parliamentarian shared that he was first diagnosed with HIV ten years ago, and thanks to advances in HIV treatments he is able to live entirely unaffected by HIV.

“I wanted to be able to stand here in this place and say to those who are living with HIV that their status does not define them,” Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown since 2017, said in a speech that drew tributes from many other MPs.

With the world observing the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day on Saturday, Russell-Moyle said the day “gives us pause to reflect how far we have come, and to remember those we have lost.”

“But such events are also deeply personal to me. Next year I will be marking an anniversary of my own – 10 years since I became HIV positive,” he continued. “It has been a long journey, from the fear of acceptance and today, hopefully, advocacy, knowing that my treatment keeps me healthy and protects any partner that I may have.”

“I have a perfectly healthy life,” he added. “So my announcement here today should go totally unnoticed.”

“We can be whoever we want to be, and to those who have not been tested, maybe because of fear, I say to you: it is better to live in knowledge than to die in fear.”

As he finished his speech, his fellow Labour members stood to applaud him even though applause is normally prohibited in the chamber. However, as you can see in the video below, the half dozen Tories in the chamber sat silent.

 

 

Russell-Moyle later tweeted:

Former Labour minister Chris Smith, elected to the Commons in 1983 and the first openly gay MP, announced he was HIV+ shortly before leaving Parliament in 2005.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, later honored Russell-Moyle saying, “Lloyd has shown enormous courage today. I know the whole Labour party is proud of him.”

(h/t The Guardian)

College Student Gets Help From Gus Kenworthy On Coming Out

Ellen DeGeneres has launched a new web series titled, Fearless, hosted by entrepreneur and body positive activist Ashley Graham.

The digital series, hosted on EllenTube, focuses on helping people struggling with their own confidence issues to rally the courage to rise above, take the next step and become unapologetically fearless.

In this episode, Ashley helps 20-year-old college student John come out to his parents.

John admits he’s come out to his friends but the idea of telling his parents he’s gay has him “freaked out.”

He says that he first became aware of being attracted to boys in 7th grade but it wasn’t until after he graduated high school and a friend asked him point blank if he was gay that he began to accept himself for who he is.

Ashley brings in out Olympian Gus Kenworthy to help John get up the nerve to make the call to his parents.

Kenworthy famously came out on the cover of ESPN Magazine back in 2015. so he knows a bit about the fears that accompany coming out. Since then, he’s become one of the leading voices for LGBTQ representation and authenticity.

Gus shares that coming out for him, while scary and nerve-wracking (he didn’t sleep the night before), was ultimately a very positive experience.

Ashley asks if Gus’s friends wanted to talk about the gay thing after he came out and Gus laughs saying, “There’s a thing that straight people are going to do to you; they’re like, ‘Oh my god, you’re gay? You should meet my friend Jason, he’s gay.’”

And with that, they send John off to make THE call to his parents.

The reaction? Watch the video below to find out. Plus, there's a surprise twist!

 

 

 

 

At the end of the short video, Gus has these words for those facing their own coming out:

“For anyone who’s watching that’s in the closet and struggling with their identity, their sexuality, I just want to let you know that you are valid, you are seen, you are heard, you are loved. And it can be really scary thinking about taking that step and revealing who you are and being so transparent with the world. But you’re going to be so much happier for it, and you living your life authentically and unapologetically is going to make it that much easier for other people to do the same.”

Follow the digital series Fearless here with new episodes every Wednesday.

Past episodes include trans actress and activist Laverne Cox meeting a transgender man who’s never met another trans person before, and Ashley giving a teacher a lesson on body confidence.

Pages