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

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

Coming out is just the beginning

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!

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.