This past Tuesday was national Coming Out Day for the LGBTQ community. So, I figured that I would not only tell you my coming out story but also tell you about a wonderful documentary that’s premiering next week at NewFest – one of New York’s best LGBT Film Festivals.
So, here goes!
It was farely easy for me when I came out, considering the fact that my mom’s gay and she has been with the same woman since I was 9. I literally walked into the house and said,
“Hey, I have a boyfriend. He’s on the dance team with me, and his name is Andre. Oh, he’s older then me as well, just fyi he’s in the 11th grade!”(I was in the 9th…yeah, Drew had a thing for older men and that probabaly should have been a red flag for my parents to watch out lol)
Step-mother – “Yasssss, what does he look like!? Let me see a picture! Give me the tea honey!” (My stepmom is the coolest person I know! (She’s basically the female Jack from Will & Grace)
Mom – “Well, I love you either way, I just don’t wanna hear about it lol. But what’s his full name – let me run a background check on this kid!”(Lawddd my mother is like the father from the movie Taken. I swear Britney Spears song “Overprotected” is my life story!)
Right…boring! I know there wasn’t a party or anything exciting that happened. That was, however, until I came out to my grandparents by bringing home my then boyfirend who was 22. Now, my grandparents are super religous and VERY involved in the church, and I’m like the favorite grandchild that can’t do anything wrong, so I was beyond scared to tell them! But I traveled from Atlanta to Virgina and introduced my whole family to him. Suprisingly, my grandparents took it better then my parents did. They literally went grocery shopping for my boyfriend because he’s a vegetarian and had preferences about his diet – all just to make him feel comfortable. To this day they accept me for the hair flipping, finger snapping, beat to the gods guy that I am, which is amazing. However, there are many LGBTQ people that didn’t/don’t have it so easy.
And that’s what the BET documentarty, “Hollar If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church” shows you. The film follows gay parishioners who remain active in the church, and the different obstacles they go through and how not everyone has a pleasant coming out story. It sheds light on how some LGBTQ people even go as far as taking their own lives because they aren’t accepted by their families or loved ones. The very people that brought you in this world are the same ones that don’t support you and your lifestyle, which for anyone can be a hard thing to deal with. Let alone having to deal with it at a young age where you need your famiy – finacially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Well, for any memeber of the LGBTQ community, always remember your fellow brothers and sisters are here for you! And if you are, in fact, strugling with coming out of the closet, remember to do it when you’re ready and not a moment before. And like I always say: “Be who you are, because those you matter don’t mind, and those who mind dont matter!”
Check out clip of “Holler if You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church” and don’t forget if you’re in New York next week check our the full documentary and other LGBTQ movies in the 28th NewFest! Tickets are on sale now!
Till Next Time!