Make no mistake, Sundeep, also known as King Sunny B, is proud to be gay. He’s also proud to be Sikh and South Asian. And he’s proud to be American - the kind of United States citizen that accepts people for who they are and pursues love and equality. That’s why King Sunny B is taking social media by storm. He wants everyone to know - especially if you’re Sikh, South Asian, and LGBTQ - that you are important. You matter, and you are loved!
Edafe is from Nigeria, a refugee who runs The RDJ Refugee Shelter, currently the only shelter in New York City specifically for homeless asylum seekers and refugees. His story is fraught with challenges and pain, but Edafe is 1000% heart.
In his VideoOut story, Martin tells about the time he came out to his grandmother. "She looked like she just stepped off of an olive oil can." It's funny, and a sweet reminder that oftentimes, coming out isn't traumatic. But Boyce was (and still is) a fighter.
Shawn is from New York. He's spent his whole life here, and he loves it. Now, he works as a member of the NYC Pride staff. He believes in the Pride march platform to increase visibility, celebrate victories, and change the world for the better. Shawn's story is a testimony of all those who have come before us.
Originally from Hong Kong, Ho Ki is now a Brooklyn resident. It wasn't always easy for her. She came out in high school as a lesbian, but she's still not out to her mother. She is learning a lot about what it means to be a member of the LGBTQ community at her job, the Department of Health, but at home, she says, "It's just not a part of our culture. We just don't talk about it."
“At that time, we just didn't worry about anything. It was just living life and having a nice time. It was different then.... I was in an underground club, in the basement of this building... The door opened up, and there was this fabulous club with a sunken bar, and a dance floor. It was wonderful. But unfortunately, the fun didn't last that long because the place was raided by the cops that night.”
Sarina left Jonathan in the past, but she will not forget to acknowledge him. Now, however, she is happy living in her truth. At 16, she started telling everyone. Watch her story, and then add your own voice to VideoOut's library of coming out stories. Be a part of something powerful!
Barbara moved to NYC is 1969, just in time for the disco era. Her experiences excited her and allowed her to live her truth. She recounts her losses - an all to common narrative surrounding the AIDS epidemic - but, her story ends on a happy note: she is happy being Barbara the lesbian.
"My coming-out story is definitely one where my mom figured me out first, and then I had to come to terms with where I was."
Katy is a queer, single mom by choice. She knows the anxiety harboring a secret brings, and the freedom that comes from shinning a light on it. Her hope is that by sharing her story, she'll let others know it's ok to be queer and a parent.
“I'm still figuring out the way that I, Amy, am gay. And I think that's fine."
Don't compare yourself to people who've come out at different ages. Just let it happen. It's your life..."
“I wanted to say that my gender identity was Wonder Woman and that I was deeply in love with Scott Bacula.”
“When I got to that point, life just felt so much better for me. It was a lot lighter in a real way."
Michael, also known as Barbie, has always lived life between Mexico and The United States. Crossing the border was a regular experience for he and his friends throughout high school, often staying out very late to hang out. After one of those night, Michael's father asked him a question.
"It all started when I came out. And not just because of the gay stuff. It was a waterfall of everything."
Estelle has a great sense of humor - but she feels funniest, and most in tune with herself, when she is not in her "normal boy clothes." Being herself is new to Estelle, but she's already on a fantastic journey of authenticity, and she's not looking back. One of the main reasons, she claims, is that she found an incredible group of people to support her along the way!
Even then I wasn't clear this is who I was, but it was... To simply summarize it, 'You are a gay man' - that took much longer. And it's still going on today!
Probably I was about 12 years old when I said it out loud, but I never really thought about it, but I remember telling my mom, ‘I’m not gonna just date men. I’m have no interest in gender. It’s more about the connection I have with the person.’ I don’t really think she reacted to it. She was just like, ‘Okay!’
Yuhua Hamasaki knows that to get through life, you have to love yourself. It took her a long time to learn some really important lessons, but her best advice is that your happiness should always come first.