Coming out

Al Reynolds Finally Comes Out As Bisexual

I know what you’re all thinking—Didn’t Al Reynolds already come out? Isn’t this old news? Well—he hadn’t and it isn’t.

Al Reynolds’ sexual orientation has been questioned since he was married to journalist and ex co-host of The View, Star Jones from 2004-2008. Since their very public divorce, Reynolds has pussyfooted around the speculation that he could be gay. Up until now, Reynolds has deflected on the subject, making other issues factors for his divorce and for not being romantically linked to other women. Take this interview he did with Essence in 2009 where Reynolds is asked about the rumors surrounding his sexuality. Reynolds responds with:

When it comes to people discussing my sexuality I've always taken the higher road, but I get very emotional about it. I'm tired of the disrespect. It has affected my professional career and life. It's difficult when people are making up stories about you and lying about your sexuality.

 

 

But now, Al Reynolds has finally come out as a bisexual man. In an interview with Radar Online, Reynolds has opened up about the years he has struggled with hiding his true self and the embarrassment that he has felt with the rumors.

Reynolds tells Radar Online:

Ever since I have been in the public eye, people have been speculating on my sexuality. And ‘speculating’ is a kind word for how it actually played out. With anger and disdain, people have been calling me out as gay, closeted, a sham and even nastier; much nastier.

I have come to a point in my life where I am ready to discuss my truth. I wasn’t ready to do this then — I wasn’t even ready to think about it, let alone process it. To understand my journey and how I got to this point, you need to understand a little about me.

I am the youngest of six children in a Southern Baptist family. We grew up in a three-bedroom mobile home in Horsepasture, Virginia. We were deeply religious; when we weren’t in church we were in school or an after-school activity. My life was filled with vacation bible school, missionary meetings, Sunday school, choir practice and youth ministry.

Life was not nuanced or frivolous, nor did it allow any time for introspection. It was clear and proscribed, black and white, angels or sinners. And people who were intimate with others of their own gender were the worst of all with no chance of redemption, or the glorious afterlife that I was taught awaited us all.

As a black man, that message and the hate and homophobia were multiplied to the nth degree. I saw no path out that would resolve my personal feelings with my deeply held and ingrained religious beliefs.

This internal dissonance was a powerful thing, like a cancer eating at one’s soul. This resulted in some tough times — homelessness, unemployment, dependence on drugs and alcohol, public assistance, and, at the center of it all, a deep, deep shame and a feeling of unworthiness of the love of God. I didn’t believe I deserved to live a good life, and I clearly didn’t.

As a queer man of color myself, I can attest to the difficulties related to coming out in a highly religious and culturally-intense family. By no means is coming out easy for anyone, but when religion is the foundation for all things “family”, it can become a demon of a different kind, wrapping you in fear, that leads to countless other acts of rock-bottom proportions.

Coming out is a serious, personal event in one’s life. An event that, unfortunately, people are stripped of when you lead a very public life.

It may have taken Al Reynolds all these years to finally muster up the courage to speak his truth, but he finally was able to do it on his own terms. But, Al—we knew it was coming, girl!

 

'Love, Simon' Will Be First Major Film With Gay Teen Romance

We’ve all felt those butterflies in our stomach at the anticipation of getting a response to a note, a text, a phone call, an email or even just a look across the room from that one special someone our heart desires. Throw the complexity of being closeted into the mix and you have yourself a tornado of emotions that is indescribable and weird. For many of us, we’ve experienced this in our teenage years—you know, that awkward stage when nothing fits right, nothing looks good, you are so disinterested and you just want to fit in, but stand out, all with being left alone. And you surround yourself with friends who share in these same narratives, who you can trust and confide in and who sometimes turn around and betray that trust. Oh, to be a young gay boy again!

2018 will bring the arrival of the first major studio gay teen romance to theaters says Entertainment Weekly. In March, 20th Century Fox will release Love, Simon, a film about a teenager who begins a back and forth online relationship with another closeted student in his school. The film is based on Becky Albertalli’s hit YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner and comes from the same producers of The Fault in Our Stars. The film is set in a typical high school setting that will give you major nostalgia and focuses on themes of identity, coming out, friendship and love. It’s a story that is mixed with emotions, as high school tends to be, but that is pivotal in the way stories are portrayed for the LGBTQIA community and for the youth. Think modern day and progressive Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and Breakfast Club!

Here’s a look at sneak peek at Love, Simon

 

 

Entertainment Weekly has First Look images at the film that will give us the first pair of gay leading teens. Coming out in March 2018!

   

Jackie Chan Had Six Words For His Daughter Who Just Came Out

Jackie Chan is in the middle of celebrating the release of his latest film the Foreigner, but it seems that the biggest news happening around him is about his daughter.

Earlier this month Jackie Chan’s daughter Etta Ng came out as a lesbian through Instagram with a simple eight word caption saying, “In case no one got the memo, I’m gay.”

She then followed that message with hashtags like “#lgbtqai, #lgbt, #lesbian, and #androgynous.”

 

#lgbtqai #lgbt #lesbian #androgynous

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Now it seems that Jackie Chan is ready to respond to this public announce, and like his daughter he’s decided to do it in short wording.

While promoting his film, Jackie Chan simply had six words to say, “If she likes it, that’s fine.”

Jackie Chan isn’t the only one to accept his daughter’s coming out. News sources reported on the daughter being warmly welcomed and cheered on by many online commenters.

While the Chinese government is still very wish-washy (though more on the rough side) concerning LGBTQ people, the general populace themselves are starting to become more tolerant.

In addition to her coming out, it’s been revealed that 17-year-old Elaine Ng is in a relationship with model and social media darling Andi Autumn, a 30-year-old Canadian living in Hong Kong.

The two have shared a photo together on Instagram where Andi said,

“I’ve never met anyone like @stolenmilktea (Etta).”

“She has given me a chance to fully express the running thoughts in my head. No judgements, just understanding. Everything was against us.”

“We’ve been pushed down again and again but its worth it knowing we will get through it together, side by side. skip past all of the difficulties we’ve had this year, we are finally heading in the right direction, we have a path.”

Watch Disney Channel's First Ever Gay Coming Out Scene

The Disney Channel is embarking on a new frontier as they introduce the first gay storyline on the children's and pre-teen's channel. (And, you can watch the scene down below).

The tv show Andi Mack follows a young pre-teen girl who's family life is shaken up after her wild older sister comes back to town.

And in this show, Andi has a best friend named Cyrus and a boyfriend named Jonah. In the show's current second season, Cyrus is realizing that he's jealous of the couple because he has a crush on Jonah too.

This is the first time that Disney Channel will have a gay storyline (though, it has included gay characters before like having an episode with lesbian parents in the show Good Luck Charlie).

The channel, which has seen better days, has been trying to find a way to bring back its former popularity. In order to do that, they reached out to Terri Minsky who created Lizzie McGuire (starring Hilary Duff), the show that arguably started the channel's original renaissance.

Minsky agreed to return because she had a new idea for a show with a more mature story and a shocking twist in the first episode (which can also be watched down below).

That said, this new show and its more mature storylines aren't being praised by everyone. As earlier reported, One Million Moms is boycotting the Disney channel for the inclusion of this gay storyline.

College Diver Aidan Faminoff Shares His Coming Out Story

 Aidan Faminoff is a 19-year-old university student at the Florida State University.

While majoring in International Affairs, Faminoff is also a diver on the school’s swimming and diving team.

On top of that, the British Columbian native has won a bronze medal at the 2015 Junior Pan Am Championships in 3-meter synchro for Team Canada, and won bronze on platform at the 2016 Canadian Olympic Trials.

But, what is the achievement that Faminoff is most proud of? Coming out.

You see, growing up in the British Columbia, Aidan Faminoff was frustrated with being in the closet.

“I would get sick of hearing the guys catcalling and talking about the cute girls,” he told OutSports, “I wanted to scream because I wanted to be able to talk openly and freely about my attraction to men. I just wanted to let out the feelings and emotions that were building up.”

That said, that was the time when he discovered diving and found a place of solace to help him focus and distract himself from other parts of his life.

Then, Aidan Faminoff moved to go to school at the Florida State University and it was then that he decided to come out.

“I went to a high school that was filled with boys who thought they ruled the world… In college the environment is different. It feels more welcoming.”

More: This Military Swim Team Captain Came Out To His Teammates

First, he came out tp his parents and was pleased to find them accept him. Then, he talked to friends and teammates while also sharing his truth on social media.

“It was Oct. 11, 2016, National Coming Out Day. On that day I came out publicly, sharing on social media with the entire world that I was gay.”

Part of that Instagram post went:

"After hiding this for years I finally feel comfortable in my own skin, to be who I truly am. It has been emotionally tough not being able to talk about it with anyone but I feel ready. To the people who don't know, I am gay."

Faminoff now contributes the following year of joy and achievements (he qualified for my first NCAAs as a freshman) to his coming out and finally freeing himself of the burden of being in the closet.

Now, he’s free to see where life will take him without those bounds restricting his path.

You can check out more of his story here.

Jackie Chan's Teenage Daughter Came Out As Gay

Jackie Chan’s daughter came out as gay.

On Instagram, Jackie Chan’s teenage daughter, Etta Ng, confirmed her sexuality by taking a picture of herself in front of a rainbow background.

The text that went along with the picture stated “In case no one got the memo, I’m gay” followed by the hashtags “#lgbtqai, #lgbt, #lesbian, and #androgynous.”

 

#lgbtqai #lgbt #lesbian #androgynous

A post shared by @stolenmilktea on

The 17-year-old former Hong Kong beauty queen is the daughter of the martial artist and actor Jackie Chan. At the time, Jackie had an affair with a woman, Etta Ng’s mother, back in the 2000s behind his wife and former actress, Lin Feng-jiao's, back.

But it seems that the mother was arrested last year after Etta Ng reported her to the police over a “domestic disagreement.”

Since then, Etta Ng has been living with 30-year-old former Canadian turned Hong Kong resident and social media star Andi Autumn. And, yesterday Andi Autumn released a photo of the two together revealing that they are actually a couple.

Part of the caption for the photo went as follow:

“I’ve never met anyone like @stolenmilktea.

“She has given me a chance to fully express the running thoughts in my head. No judgements, just understanding. Everything was against us.

“We’ve been pushed down again and again but its worth it knowing we will get through it together, side by side. skip past all of the difficulties we’ve had this year, we are finally heading in the right direction, we have a path.”

A College Linebacker, and Son of A Two-Time Super Bowl Winner, Came Out

Xavier Colvin / via Jimmy Lafakis/Butler University

Xavier Colvin is a 20-year-old sophomore majoring in marketing at Butler University. He’s 5’9”, 210 pounds, has the nickname of "X," the son of a two-time Super Bowl winner, and is a linebacker for Butler’s football team.

The reason that we’re talking about Colvin here is that in August he stood on stage in front of his fellow Butler Bulldogs and announced that he was gay.

Colvin admits that he had known about his sexuality for years and before even entering college, but decided to stay in the closet for fear of rejection from his peers and a potential career in the sport. That said, eventually it became too much of a burden for him.

“I just kept it to myself because it was in the best interest of me at the time,” he told INDY Star, “Because I was still trying to figure myself out. I mean, I still am now trying to figure myself out. So, I have a long way to go to figure out the man I truly am. This is a step in the right direction.”

“Timing is perfect. This team, this year, this coaching staff, it’s great.”

Before officially coming out, Colvin contacted close friends, trusted teammates, and his coach Jeff Voris who said that it was an “non-issue.”

As for his father Rosevelt Colvin, who was a former professional linebacker in the NFL between the years of 1999 and 2008 and won the Super Bowl twice with the New England Patriots, Colvin says there was no issue there either.

“Me and my dad, we have a great relationship,” he said, “I get told a lot that I’m like him.”

This year, several college football players have come out, and Xavier Colvin is just the most recent. But, it’s good to hear that his story is also one that’s been accepted so easily.

Good for Colvin and good luck with the upcoming football season.

Kpop Star Hansol from Topp Doogg Came Out As Asexual

Credit: FYH 930615

Something great happened earlier today. A Kpop star came out as asexual.

The specific star that we’re talking about is Topp Dogg’s Hansol.

Now of course, some of us may still feel burned by the recent Aaron Carter situation. We’ve heard of pop singers coming out as some sort of LGBTQA and then find out it was just a publicity stunt.

Some, myself included, may feel that we shouldn't talk about or share news of “so and so” coming out because it often leads to this kind of disappointment.

That said, when a person comes out after going through struggle and strife, I think that’s something to celebrate and that’s why I’m sharing the news with you all.

 

 

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For context, Hansol has been having a tough year so far.

His group, Topp Dogg, was never big. It was big enough to be known and to have a solid fanbase, but sadly its company doesn’t support them with multiple albums like more popular groups. (Though conversely, they aren’t being tortured with unimaginable workloads then). As such, the group is currently “on hiatus” since their last album.

Things got worse when fellow member A-Tom (or Kim Sang Gyun) left the group to be a part of reality show Produce 101.

And then on top of that, Hansol received an increase in hateful and homophobic messages on social media, which he would respond to with only love and understanding.

Credit: Twitter Screenshot of a Fan Translation

But possibly all the negativity sent in his direction finally got to Hansol as back in June he reached a tipping point.

The kpop star hosted a livestream on Instagram to talk to his followers and reportedly repeated several suicidal statements such as, “I want to kill myself,” or looking at cars while saying, “That could probably kill me.”

This video (a part of which can be watched here) scared fans so much that they contacted accounts of Hansol’s friends. This eventually got the attention of fellow dancer and close friend Yu Jun Min who posted, “I was able to contact Hansol. Everyone, don't worry.”

Credit: Instagram Screenshot

All of this is again to say that Hansol has not had a good year and the last time fans heard of him he was in a dark place.

That said, things seem to be looking up for him.

Hansol had another livestream on Instagram and this time looked much happier. Not only that, but he confessed to something he’d apparently been thinking about for some time.

In the stream, which you can watch below without subtitles, he said, “I have been thinking a lot. I’m asexual. Asexual. I don’t like anyone, anybody. I just like myself. I’ll probably never get married. I just like my friends and family.” 

 

Not only is this frank announcement great knowing the struggle and battle that Hansol has gone through in the past year, but also for the fact that he is someone in the public eye in South Korea.

South Korea, while being pretty progressive in multiple areas, is still extremely regressive when it comes to sexual orientation.

The existance of LGBTQ people is acknowledged by citizens but they are often whispered about. In addition, the government and military are specifically ostracizing and criminalizing LGBTQ people in service (sounds like someone else we know).

As such, we are happy to hear of Hansol’s coming out. But again, we don’t want to have another Aaron Carter situation, so let's not deify him for doing it.

Instead, we’ll give him a virtual pat on the back and a raised glass in his direction. He deserves that at the least.

And we hope that he can go back to being the happy guy fans once knew.

 

Aaron Carter Broke Down At His First Performance Since Coming Out

As we reported yesterday, Aaron Carter kickstarted the next point in his career after coming out as bisexual and breaking up with his girlfriend by performing at a gay bar.

The bar was Hamburger Mary’s, which is very close to his hometown in Brandon, Florida.

TMZ was on the scene and was a lucky enough to record some of the event.

 At the start, Carter spoke to audience and said, “I just want to say thank you so much for all your love and your support with the LGBTQ community and my announcement… It means a lot. Yes, I am a bisexual man, so…”

He then went into a bit of a mumbled mess by pointing out some attractive women and men in the crowd.

After that, he introduced his new song called “Hard to Love” and revealed it was inspired by the ex-girlfriend who just broke up with him.

Afterwards, the video cuts to the end of the performance when Carter was so overwrought with joy because of the love shared by his fans that he started to breakdown and weep.

We at Instinct Magazine are overjoyed to see the upturn that Aaron Carter’s life has taken since his arrest last month, and we hope for only good things for the singer from now on.

(Plus, we’d love to see a new hubby around his arms in the future.)

You can check out the TMZ video (and a fan vid of his new single) down below.

The UK Just Got It's First Openly Gay Referee

The world of sports is still crushingly straight… at least in public. So, whenever an athlete or official in the business comes out, it’s a big deal. That’s a fact whether some like it or not. And the next big deal has come upon us.

A few months ago there were talks of a few anonymous football (soccer) athletes considering coming out. No one’s heard anything about that since. But, it looks like a referee might be leading them by example.

Ryan Atkin is a professional football referee in the UK and he is now the first UK ref to officially come out.

“Being gay doesn’t matter in the context of refereeing a football match,” Atkin told Sky Sports, “But if I’m speaking about equality and diversity, then I’m going to mention that I’m gay because it’s relevant. Homophobia is still a problem, but things are improving all the time.”

Atkin also had to say that he saw a movement towards acceptance of LGBTQ people in the sport thanks to campaigns fighting against homophobia.

“The Rainbow Laces campaign has been hugely important. There is a growing number of club LGBT fan groups, and major sports brands such as Adidas and Nike are helping to deliver the same message to wider audiences across the globe.”

But again, the sport is still struggling largely with that aspect. In fact, in the UK there are currently no openly gay athletes. Something that Atkin noted himself.

“Clearly, this is a step into the unknown – in our UK pro game, it’s widely known that there are currently no openly gay footballers, nor have there been any openly gay referees until now. I hope that my action, however small, will help give others in a similar situation the confidence to be themselves. In a few years’ time, articles like this won’t be necessary. But until that point, all of us in football have a duty to create an environment where everyone can feel comfortable. It’s OK to be different and when we all truly believe that, we’ll start to move on.”

And at the moment it seems that everyone is in support of Ryan Atkin, including Neale Barry who is the head senior referee development for the FA.

“The FA offers its full backing to Ryan. Our role is to support all referees, aid their development, maximize their potential and, above all, help ensure their experiences are positive. Ryan’s declaration marks an important moment in the game and reinforces the fact that refereeing really is open to everyone.”

Let’s hope someday the same will be said for the athletes.

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