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A Message To Black LBGT Youth On National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day; a celebration of the bravery it takes to come out, and the positive impact it can have on the LGBT community at large.

The Black Youth Project wishes our readers a wonderful and liberating Coming Out Day. If you do choose this is to be the day that you reveal your sexuality to family or friends, we want you to know that you have our love and support.

And feel free to send us your “Coming Out” stories. Hearing about your personal journey can make a world of difference to a young, struggling LBGT youth looking for some type of affirmation or hope.

However, we also want to make it very clear that all of us – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – are on our own journeys.

Nobody knows the best time for you to come out BUT YOU.

If you feel that your health, safety and/or general well-being will be placed at risk by coming out, you have every right to hold on to that information for just a bit longer.

No one has the right to make you feel “less than” or cowardly for moving at your own pace, or literally protecting yourself.

Don Lemon’s decision to come out was inspiring and more than welcome; but not every Black, LBGT person is the world famous, wealthy, self-sufficient, 45 year-old CNN anchor Don Lemon, if you know what I mean.

If you choose not to come out today, that’s more than fine. Instead, maybe research some of the incredible LGBT people of color that have come before you; strong, intelligent, dedicated people like James Baldwin, Angela Davis and Bayard Rustin.

And remember that not every LBGT person of color has a Wikipedia page. Our community is filled with doctors, teachers, mothers, pastors and even classmates of yours that have gone through (or are still struggling) with the exact same things you’re feeling.

You are NOT alone.

So stay positive, respect your bodies, and love yourselves.