14 Celebs Talk About What Surprised Them Most About Coming Out And How To Be An Effective LGBT Ally

Coming out is just the beginning

Collage Photos by/courtesy of Brendan Jordan, Luke Gilford, Aaron Tredwell, Pamela Littky, Signe Pierce, Big Freedia, Laura Lewis, BJPascual.com, Getty Images

October 11 is National Coming Out Day, and what better way to celebrate our society's ongoing evolution toward being an open, safe space for all people, rather than just those traditionally in power, than by hearing from 14 LGBTQIA activists about what it was like to come out, how everyone can be a better ally, and the importance of staying outspoken about the developing state of the LGBTQIA community?

Earlier this year, NYLON spoke with a variety of well-known LGBTQIA advocates about the significance of being outspoken, of being "fearless in what you say and, in turn, what you do." Here then, we revisit their powerful words, feeling confident that their voices will resonate far and wide and inspire us all to be as brave and honest in the ways in which we live our lives as they are in the ways they live theirs. 

Photo by Leslie Lyons

What surprised you the most about coming out?
“Part of coming out was getting to a point where you don’t really have a choice. You’re just like, 'Well, this is happening. Their actions can be whatever they are, like fuck it.' But to come out and see so many people within the music community, be that bands or other musicians or even the press, be so supportive and be so willing to be understanding and try to get it, like, that I would just have never imagined. I’m not sure if it would have been the same 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or whatever, but it doesn’t matter. Now it is that way, and there was that level of support, and I think that is an incredible statement on how far people have progressed.”

Laura Jane Grace, founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Against Me!