Ellen DeGeneres has launched a new web series titled, Fearless, hosted by entrepreneur and body positive activist Ashley Graham.
The digital series, hosted on EllenTube, focuses on helping people struggling with their own confidence issues to rally the courage to rise above, take the next step and become unapologetically fearless.
In this episode, Ashley helps 20-year-old college student John come out to his parents.
John admits he’s come out to his friends but the idea of telling his parents he’s gay has him “freaked out.”
He says that he first became aware of being attracted to boys in 7th grade but it wasn’t until after he graduated high school and a friend asked him point blank if he was gay that he began to accept himself for who he is.
Ashley brings in out Olympian Gus Kenworthy to help John get up the nerve to make the call to his parents.
Kenworthy famously came out on the cover of ESPN Magazine back in 2015. so he knows a bit about the fears that accompany coming out. Since then, he’s become one of the leading voices for LGBTQ representation and authenticity.
Gus shares that coming out for him, while scary and nerve-wracking (he didn’t sleep the night before), was ultimately a very positive experience.
Ashley asks if Gus’s friends wanted to talk about the gay thing after he came out and Gus laughs saying, “There’s a thing that straight people are going to do to you; they’re like, ‘Oh my god, you’re gay? You should meet my friend Jason, he’s gay.’”
And with that, they send John off to make THE call to his parents.
The reaction? Watch the video below to find out. Plus, there's a surprise twist!
At the end of the short video, Gus has these words for those facing their own coming out:
“For anyone who’s watching that’s in the closet and struggling with their identity, their sexuality, I just want to let you know that you are valid, you are seen, you are heard, you are loved. And it can be really scary thinking about taking that step and revealing who you are and being so transparent with the world. But you’re going to be so much happier for it, and you living your life authentically and unapologetically is going to make it that much easier for other people to do the same.”
Follow the digital series Fearless here with new episodes every Wednesday.
Past episodes include trans actress and activist Laverne Cox meeting a transgender man who’s never met another trans person before, and Ashley giving a teacher a lesson on body confidence.