Publicly Private – Helping LGBTQ+ Before The Closet Doors Are Opened

October 11th was chosen as National Coming Out Day to mark the anniversary of the second major National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which took place 1987. With estimates of half a million people participating, it was nearly five times the size of the first march in 1979.
 
So we celebrate National Coming Out Day to remember a couple of parades or marches? Yes and no and maybe. I think it is also a day of reflection on our lives.  Those of us that have come out, may use this day to reflect on how our lives have changed.  But what we must not do is to use this day to judge others that have not come out. It also should NOT be a day to force people to come out, to give them a certain deadline.  But it could be a day to inspire and show people a glimmer or a glittery rainbow of hope and support to those that need it. 
 
We had the opportunity to sit down with Kollyn Conrad, founder of Publicly Private. Our goal was to discuss National Coming Out Day, share some of our own personal experiences with coming out, discussing coming out to conservative friends and family members, and helping underserved individuals that may not have the resources or the safe spaces to come out or be out in. 

Kollyn Conrad is the founder and Executive Director of Publicly Private, a nonprofit organization offering supplies, support and empowerment to the LGBTQIA+ community. Publicly Private was inspired from Conrad’s personal journey of growing up as a gay man in the south. He was always passionate about helping and befriending underserved individuals, so he combined his passion and his experience to create Publicly Private and aid LGBTQIA+ individuals in their lifelong journey.

Kollyn’s personal journey inspired him to start Publicly Private.  He shared his personal story with us which was moving to hear.  But we both know, there are many tragic stories out there about coming out.  Choosing who to come out to and when is a very personal journey as that move to being open and true to all does not always happen in a safe and welcoming environment. 

He has chosen to return to the Southern United States to help the LGBTQ+ Community in more ways than just the support of coming out for we all know when we were not out, life, love, and sex were a little different. 

The Southern United States has the largest concentration of LGBTQIA+ individuals. Unsupported, the community continues to have the largest infection rates in the country. Imagine a +Home that supports the normalization of our well-being, a place meant to shoulder. This dream is a reality, and you’re included.

So Kollyn does so much more than welcoming people into our community. He tries to do as much as he can to support those who have not made that personal journey yet. 

Here is our chat.

So how did you use National Coming Out Day? For many of us, it will be just another day, where for others, it may be a day of thoughtful reflection of what was or what could be. 

In our chat, we did not reiterate heavily on exactly what he does and supplies, we mentioned it yes, but every relationship starts with a discussion.  Thank you Kollyn for our discussion.

If you want to learn more about Kollyn and Publicly Private, head over to his website.

 

1 thought on “Publicly Private – Helping LGBTQ+ Before The Closet Doors Are Opened”

  1. It definitely helps to have support. My friend and I both came out gay this coming out day. We met in school and have been closeted until now. It feels so good to have such support from my friend, we are there for each other all the time, text, and facetime.

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