Coming out and just generally figuring out your identity can be a challenging, confusing, and often scary process. When you’re in need of some guidance, looking to those who have been in your shoes can really help. While everyone’s coming out process is different, learning the stories of other LGBTQ people can make you feel not only immersed in the community, but supported on your journey.
Below are quotes from nine LGBTQ celebrities who have publicly shared their words of wisdom on coming out and being your truest self.
Umbrella Academy actor Elliot Page came out as trans in 2020. In their soul-baring social media post, they offered words of encouragement to fellow trans people.
“I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse, and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”
Nikkie de Jager
Beauty guru Nikkie – known as NikkieTutorials – came out as trans to her millions of followers on YouTube after beginning her transition in her childhood. She hoped her story could inspire the “little Nikkies” hoping to be their freest selves.
“Just like me, you get to write your own story. Live your life without any restrictions. You can be you. You are in charge of how you want to live your life. This world needs us, we need to accept each other, we need to respect each other. But most of all, we need to hear each other and understand. The time for you to love yourself, and express yourself the way you truly feel, is now. If you feel like you are trapped and there is no way out, know that it gets better. Trust me, it gets better.”
Dance Moms sensation Jojo opened up about her sexuality by sharing a picture of herself wearing an iconic t-shirt reading: ‘Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.’ During an Instagram Live, she offered a comforting reminder to her fans who are scared to come out.
“Right now what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it’s okay and that it’s awesome and the world is there for you. ‘There are so many people that are there for you. I know that everyone’s situation is different and it might be harder for some people and it might be easier for some people to come out or be themselves, but I think coming out has this stigma around it, that it’s this really, really scary thing, but it’s not anymore.
“There are so many accepting and loving people out there. Of course, people are going to say it’s not normal, but nothing is normal. Literally, not one thing about anybody is normal and it’s okay not to be normal, it’s okay to be a little different, it’s okay to be a little weird, strange, different. That’s something we should never, ever be afraid of. That’s something we should be proud of.”
13 Reasons Why star Tommy reintroduced herself to the world as a transgender woman in an interview with Time Magazine, sharing that transitioning made her feel “genuinely happy” for the first time. When asked what she’d say to trans youth who aren’t quite there yet, she had a short and simple, yet poignant, response.
“You are divinely held. I have that tattooed on me, and for anyone who’s struggling, it’s a nice reminder.”
Joshua Bassette hasn’t specified his LGBTQ identity and reminds others there’s no rush to place a label on who you are. He believes people shouldn’t have to come out at all.
“There are plenty of letters in the alphabet, why bother rushing to a conclusion? Sometimes your letter changes, sometimes you try a different one, other times you realize you’re not what you thought you were, or maybe you always knew. All of these can be true. I’m happy to be a part of the LGBTQ community because they embrace all. Don’t let anyone tell you love isn’t love. They’re the ones who probably need it the most.”
“Friday” hitmaker Rebecca Black struggled with accepting her queerness. It felt “too late” to come out in her late teens, but now she knows that coming out doesn’t have a time limit. There’s no hurry.
“One thing I did struggle with was that when I started to come into my sexuality I was around 19 or 20 years old, and I’m only 22 now. So part of me did almost feel like, ‘I’m too late, I should have known this about myself,’ and so I wasn’t validating myself and I was questioning myself all the time, which I do think is a natural part of some people’s process with coming into themselves. I later started talking to people who had similar experiences to me, like friends of mine who were realizing that they’re gay or fluid. I was just talking to someone who didn’t know until they were 23, so it doesn’t mean anything. The timing of when you realize isn’t important, it’s about the celebration and being able to embrace it. That’s what matters.”
As a gay man, Billy Porter always wants to offer words of comfort to others still finding their place in the world. For National Coming Out Day, he wanted everyone to know how worthy they are.
“I stand with you no matter what your decision is. We are all born with the right to be ourselves and protect our humanity. We have feelings that deserve respect and we need to know we belong like everyone else. I’m here to tell you that not only do you belong, but you are loved and supported. I see you and I applaud you for just being you.”
Moana actor Auli’i Cravalho is openly bisexual, and she wants you to know that life is too short to be anything less than yourself.
“Love who you love, life is too short. The LGBTQIA+ community is one that we should learn from, protect, and celebrate, every day. Send your light into the world, and accept all the deserved goodness that comes your way. Breathe baby, everything you need you already possess.”
She’s been dubbed ‘lesbian Jesus’ by fans, and Hayley Kiyoko is forever sharing her beautiful words of comfort and strength with the world, both in her music and online.
“You are worthy. You are powerful. You will break barriers. You will be challenged. You will persevere. Your presence in this world is necessary and I’m so proud of wherever you are in your journey towards self love and self discovery. Keep going.”