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Curtis M. Wong
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Curtis M. Wong is the Deputy Editor of Gay Voices at The Huffington Post. He has written for The Prague Post, Passport Magazine, The Hartford Courant, Business Insurance Weekly, Abu Dhabi's The National and Ohio's Akron Jewish News, among other publications.

Entries by Curtis M. Wong

Greg Louganis: 'I'd Love To Share' In Caitlyn Jenner's Journey

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 12:27 PM

Greg Louganis says he's "really looking forward to sitting down" with fellow Olympian Caitlyn Jenner and "just talking...

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'Sweet Equality Cakes' Created As A Counter-Effort To Anti-Gay Bakery

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 10:36 AM


The same-sex couple who were turned away by Oregon's Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery when they sought a wedding cake are teaming up with the Kansas-based Planting Peace for an exciting new venture. 


Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer, in partnership with the global nonprofit organization, are asking supporters...

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Colorado Politician Thinks Boy Scouts' New Policy Will Cause Boys To Be Molested

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 1:42 PM

The Boy Scouts of America's decision to end its controversial ban on openly gay leaders isn't setting well with Colorado Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

The Republican and former Navy chaplain, who was elected to the Colorado State Senate last November, fired off at the organization on his "Pray In Jesus Name" radio program, Right Wing Watch first reported. No stranger to anti-gay remarks, Klingenschmitt suggested that parents should remove their sons from the Boy Scouts or put them at the risk of being molested. 

"If your boy is in one of those organizations, you need to get him out of there," Klingenschmitt said, as seen in the video above. Accusing the Boy Scouts of "thumbing their nose at God," he added, "What they're going to do is promote homosexual men to mentoring and camping with your boys in the woods and it will lead to child abuse." 

He concluded the segment with a prayer, asking for God to "rescue the Boy Scouts organization from this political correctness that has openly forced men, who are openly admitting that they are engaged in all kinds of sodomy... and now they're going to be leading young boys." 

On July 27, the Boy Scouts' full executive board voted 45 to 12 in favor of lifting the long-established ban on gay adults as employees and volunteers within the organization, effective immediately. Still, the group will allow for religiously affiliated troops to determine their own policies regarding LGBT adults, an exception which HuffPost Gay Voices Editor-at-Large Michelangelo Signorile called "a dangerous precedent" because it allows "the very people who would discriminate to keep discriminating."

Meanwhile, Klingenschmitt's remarks aren't particularly surprising given his history. Previously, he argued in favor of discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, noting, "If your heart is full of corruption or sin or immorality -- in this case, homosexuality -- then you should be discriminated against."

He's also defended Russia's controversial "gay propaganda" laws and even suggested that imposing fines and jail time on those who expose minors to LGBT issues wasn't punishment enough. 

"If you're recruiting children into sin, Jesus says you should have the death penalty," he said at the time. 

More on...

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The Same-Sex Couple Turned Away By Sweet Cakes By Melissa Speak Out

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 12:29 PM


The same-sex couple who were turned away by Oregon's Sweet Cakes by Melissa in 2013 when they sought a wedding cake are speaking out for the first time. 


Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer told The Willamette Week that they were introduced to Sweet Cakes by Melissa co-owner Melissa...

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Pat Robertson: Obama Should Listen To 'Fellow Africans' On Gay Rights

(1) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 4:07 PM

It's an unlikely proposition, but if Pat Robertson had his way, President Barack Obama would make a 180-degree shift in regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. 

In an installment of "The 700 Club" last week, Robertson, whose opposition to the LGBT community is well-established, suggested Obama has "an agenda against God" ahead of the president's weekend visit to Kenya, Right Wing Watch first reported.

Noting that homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and other African nations,  the right-wing televangelist said that Obama would be best served by enforcing similar anti-LGBT laws in the U.S. 

“One wishes that the president of the United States would listen to some of his fellow Africans, cousins,” he said,“to what they have to say because they speak truth and they speak wisdom.” 

Unfortunately for Robertson, Obama did just the opposite, calling for equal treatment for everyone during his time in Kenya. 

“I believe in the principle of treating people equally under the law, and that they are deserving of equal protection under the law and that the state should not discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation,” Obama said. “I’m unequivocal on this.”

Better luck next time,...

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27 Of The Hottest Photos From The Fire Island Pines Party 2015

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 12:45 PM

July 25 marked the return of the all-night Pines Party fundraiser on New York's Fire Island, and for many gay men in the Tri-State area, it was the place to see and be seen this weekend.

The 2015 incarnation featured an "Emerald City" theme, and as these sizzling photos attest,...

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Rush Limbaugh: TV's 'Hip' Take On Gay Sex Is Impacting Teen Boys

(5) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 12:31 PM

Rush Limbaugh believes the "loving, sensitive" and "hip" portrayal of gay sex in popular culture might be having an impact on teenage boys nationwide. 

On July 23, the conservative pundit and radio host took to the airwaves to respond to a new report which found that today's teenagers, especially boys, were having significantly less sex than those in the 1980s. Describing teen boys in 2015 as "bullies or predators or brutes, or they are pajama boys," Limbaugh implied that the depiction of heterosexual sex versus gay sex on television programs, streaming video outlets and in pornography is, in part, responsible for this apparent shift. 

"Heterosexual sex on television is often portrayed as violent and aggressive towards women -- rape or just short of it," he said in the broadcast. "On the other hand... gay sex is portrayed as loving, sensitive, fun, hip, natural, normal [and] cool -- you name it."

Suggesting the difference in cultural portrayal had to do with advancing a "political agenda," Limbaugh went on to note, "We have removed all of the mystique and the magic and the wonder and the mystery by just pushing it at kids constantly." 

Limbaugh, of course, has made no secret of his opposition to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. He offered up a similarly convoluted, anti-LGBT argument earlier this year, suggesting that businesses that want to deny services to same-sex couples should blame the Muslim community

"Instead of telling the gay couple that you refuse to bake the cake for their wedding because you disapprove of homosexuality, you should now say you are not going to bake a cake for the gay wedding because you fear Muslim backlash," he said at the time. 

H/T Towleroad and Media...

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Hear Matthew Shepard In His Own Words In This Touching New Film

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 11:18 AM

 

Seventeen years after his tragic death, Matthew Shepard continues to serve as a symbol of the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth across the country, inspiring films, plays and books.

Now, a new documentary is taking a no-holds-barred look at the young man and the enduring impact his too-short life continues to have on the global fight against bullying. "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine," which is directed by Michele Josue, features interviews with some of Shepard's closest friends, family members and confidantes. The film uses the slain University of Wyoming student's personal journal entries to give viewers insight into his life.

"I'm here because I'm depressed and confused," Shepard writes in one entry, as seen in the clip above. "I hope to be un-depressed. I have learned that failure is not always bad, and that it is necessary. I want to go to college and succeed, I want my life to be happy." 

In a separate segment, Shepard's father, Dennis, recalls the moment his son first came out as gay to him.

 

"I think he thought I'd start yelling and screaming and fall over in a faint, but it didn't matter, he was still my son," Dennis says. "Matt is my son; he always will be." 

"Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine" airs July 27 on Logo. Head here for more...

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How This Jewish Couple Balances Their Queer Identity With Faith

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 1:37 PM


Above all, Emet and Jessica Ozar say their marriage has been an invaluable lesson in balancing their queer identities with their deep religious faith.


Appropriately enough, the couple, who tied the knot last year, first met while pursuing volunteer opportunities as part of Masa Israel Journey,...

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'Gay Baker' Shames Same-Sex Couples Who 'Force' Anti-LGBT Bakers To Prep Cakes

(3) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 2:02 PM

A man identifying himself as a gay baker has taken to YouTube to shame same-sex couples who have charged a number of conservative bakers with discrimination after being turned away for wedding cakes and other services. 

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Jesse Bartholomew said he was "disgusted" by gay and lesbian couples who have "stoop[ed] so low as to force someone to bake a cake for them who simply doesn't agree with them." 

"That wedding cake should be so personal to you and your wedding, just as the ring, just as the invitation -- just as to everything in planning a wedding," he proclaims in the video, which was shared by Christian Today, The Advocate and a number of other news outlets, and currently has over 66,000 views. "Are you stupid? That is your personal piece of your wedding." 

Bartholomew went on to suggest that choosing to work with a conservative baker over one who identified as gay or lesbian, or at least is an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, was a grievous mistake. 

"It's plain and simple: you are bullying someone," he said. "You are forcing someone. You are being a Nazi and forcing someone to bake a damn wedding cake for you when there are hundreds of other gays and lesbians who would gladly have your business." 

Bartholomew's video follows news that a record-breaking $325,500 has been raised for Oregon's Sweet Cakes by Melissa in an online fundraising campaign. Earlier this year, Aaron and Melissa Klein, the husband-and-wife team that own the bakery, were ordered to pay $135,000 for violating their state's anti-discrimination laws when they turned away a lesbian couple in 2013. The Kleins had cited their religious beliefs in refusing to prepare the couple's wedding cake. 

Also on...

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Pat Robertson Claims Gay Marriage Will Lead To 'Love Affairs Between Men And Animals'

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2015 | 11:19 AM

You didn't expect Pat Robertson to let the Supreme Court's June 26 ruling on same-sex marriage happen without one of his signature anti-gay declarations, did you?

The conservative televangelist, who has long been an outspoken opponent of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, used a viewer's inquiry about abortion as a bizarre segueway into a criticism of marriage equality on "The 700 Club" this week, Right Wing Watch first reported

Arguing that the Supreme Court has ruled on many cases using "faulty sociological grounds," Robertson said, "Watch what happens, love affairs between men and animals are going to be absolutely permitted. Polygamy, without question, is going to be permitted, and it will be called a right."

When co-host Terry Meeuwsen suggested that marriage equality would lead to the legalization of "relationships with children," Robertson agreed, adding, "Intellectually, you can't get around these Supreme Court decisions." 

The comments, of course, aren't particularly surprising given Robertson's history. In April, he told a concerned mother to "pray that God will straighten out" her teenage lesbian daughter, who had recently came out of the closet.

Earlier that same month, he slammed a Washington state judge's ruling that a florist had discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to provide flowers for their wedding, implying that society would eventually come to embrace...

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Kentucky Clerk Says She 'Prayed And Fasted' Before Deciding To Stop Issuing Marriage Licenses

(7) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 4:13 PM

A Kentucky county clerk says she "prayed and fasted" before ultimately deciding to stop issuing marriage licenses altogether in the wake of the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is facing a federal class action lawsuit brought against her by two gay couples and two straight couples after she refused to issue them marriage licenses, The Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Davis, who is reportedly a Apostolic Christian and attends church three times a week, testified July 20 in a Covington, Kentucky courtroom that she "sought God" as she contemplated her options for months ahead of the Supreme Court's June 26 ruling on marriage equality. 

"It was something I had prayed and fasted over," she said, according to The Lexington Herald-Leader. "It wasn't a spur of the moment decision." Issuing licenses under her name, she added, would violate her religious beliefs, even if a deputy clerk were to do so in her stead. "If I say they are authorized, I’m saying I agree with it, and I can’t." 

Davis, who has been a deputy clerk in Rowan for 27 years, said she had never cited religious grounds for objecting to anything related to her job before. Still, she told The Lexington Herald-Leader she has no plans to resign from her job. 

"That leaves my deputies to deal with this," she said. "If I resign, it solves nothing and helps no one."

Meanwhile, Davis's attorney has argued that his client's case "is not about these plaintiffs' desire to get married," and said they could travel to neighboring counties to obtain marriage licenses. 

"This case is about the plaintiffs' desire to force Kim Davis to approve and authorize their marriages in violation of her constitutionally protected religious beliefs," Roger Gannam of Liberty Counsel told the Herald-Leader. 

The plaintiffs in the case against Davis, of course, feel differently.

"It’s not like we heard that three counties over a county clerk wasn’t issuing marriage licenses," April Miller, who hopes to marry her partner, Karen Roberts, told Newsweek. "We live here; we work in this county; we pay our taxes here."

"We just didn’t understand why we should have to drive to another courthouse because she was not doing her job," added Jody Fernandez, who is another plaintiff, along with her partner, Kevin Holloway. "If she cannot do her job, then she should not be working there."

Davis is one of two county clerks in Kentucky who have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex and opposite-sex couples since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide. The other, Casey Davis of Casey County, has not been sued, but had wanted Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to call for a special session of the state legislature so it can pass a law allowing couples to purchase marriage licenses online in a process similar to obtaining a hunting or fishing license. 

Casey Davis, who was on hand at the courthouse July 20 to support Kim Davis, told The Lexington Herald-Leader that he had, in fact, met with Beshear, but was told to do his job or...

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Breitbart's Ben Shapiro Claims Trans Reporter Zoey Tur Threatened To Assault Him

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 12:03 PM

An editor-at-large at the conservative news site Breitbart has reportedly filed assault charges against an transgender reporter for "Inside Edition" after a heated, on-air discussion about Caitlyn Jenner

Breitbart's Ben Shapiro described transgender people as having a mental illness and being delusional during a segment on "The Dr. Drew Show," which focused on Jenner's recent Arthur Ashe Courage Award honor at the 2015 ESPY Awards. He also used male pronouns while referring to "Inside Edition"'s Zoey Tur, who identifies as transgender, during the July 17 appearance. (You can view footage of that appearance in the video above.)

At one point in the debate, Shapiro asked a visibly agitated Tur, "What are your genetics, sir?" Tur responded by putting her hand on the back of Shapiro's neck, noting, "You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance."

She later dismissed Shapiro as "a little man, a little boy," and added, "You’re consumed with hatred." 

Shapiro has now accused Tur of physically threatening him once the cameras stopped rolling, prompting him to file a police report on July 19, according to The Blaze. He also claims that security escorted him to his car only after they determined that Tur had left the premises.  

"Just because the left has designated someone a member of the victim class does not mean that that person gets to infringe the rights of others,” he told his website of his decision to file a police report. Noting that he had spoken with a Los Angeles Police Department detective, he added, "Until the left learns that, their aggression will not stop."

In a separate article, Breitbart also pointed to Tur's apparent response to a tweet that called for Shapiro to be "curb-stomped." Breitbart's John Nolte hinted that the threat was anti-Semitic as curb-stomping was "made infamous by American Nazi skinheads," and Shapiro is Jewish. 

Meanwhile, Tur has denied Shapiro's accusations, telling Salon in an email that the only conversation she and Shapiro had "was on camera. I left the studio for home before he was off the set. CNN can confirm that."

She also brushed off the anti-Semitic claim, noting that she is also Jewish, and wrote, "How can a Jewish woman that performed a tracheotomy on an IDF soldier during war be a...

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Texas Man Allegedly Killed Boyfriend After Accusing Him Of Cheating

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 2:06 PM

 

A 20-year-old Texas man stands accused of beating his live-in boyfriend to death after a violent altercation.

The suspect, Bryan Canchola, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Stephen Sylvester, The Austin American-Statesman reports. Austin police found Sylvester unconscious at the apartment he and Canchola shared near the University of Texas in the early hours of July 17. He later died at the hospital from head trauma, according to the publication.  

The couple's roommate, who was subleasing a bedroom in the apartment, told police that Canchola and Sylvester had returned home around 3:30 a.m. after a night of partying and could be heard fighting. The argument between the two had escalated, the roommate said, when an "extremely intoxicated" Canchola accused Sylvester of being unfaithful, CBS News reported.  

After the fight, the roommate discovered Sylvester bleeding from the back of the head and drove him to nearby University Medical Center Brackenridge, but Sylvester reportedly left before receiving any medical treatment. When the roommate couldn't locate Sylvester, he returned to the apartment to find the door closed, and then went to a friend's apartment to call the police, fearing the worst, according to USA Today. 

After a half hour later, Canchola called 911 to report that Sylvester was unconscious and bleeding from the back of the head. At about 6:30 a.m. authorities arrived and rushed Sylvester to the hospital, where he died, according to The Austin American-Statesman. An autopsy indicated that he had suffered bleeding on the brain and a neck fracture. 

USA Today reports that Canchola had texted his stepfather at some point during the evening, indicating that he was "scared, in trouble and did not know what to do." In an affidavit cited by the publication, police noted that Canchola had apparent blood on his lips, hands and feet when they arrived on the scene. 

Canchola's co-worker told the San Antonio Express-News that Canchola and Sylvester had been together for about two months, but had not been previously violent in their relationship. 

Meanwhile, ex-boyfriend Taylor Shirley described Sylvester as a "very big-hearted and trusting person" in an interview with the New York Daily News, noting, "Whenever he met people, he trusted them way too easily and I think this was just one of those things. He trusted the wrong person and it cost him his life." 

Canchola is in custody with bond set at $500,000, according to USA Today. 

...
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Matt Bomer Has No Time For Gay Stereotypes In New Interview

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 10:15 AM

In a recent interview, "Magic Mike XXL" star Matt Bomer didn't hesitate to let a Hola Hollywood reporter know that her gay-specific question made him uncomfortable. 

When Dulce Osuna asked if the gay community was harder to please than the general population in terms of movies, Bomer, 37, turned visibly agitated, and then responded, "Why would I ever try to boil down an entire community into a yes or no question? Would you feel comfortable IF I said, 'Are women harder or easier to please?" 

He clarified that the message of the movie, which hit theaters July 1, was about breaking down stereotypes around sexuality and gender.

"One of the things, I think, you learn from this movie is that everyone is different," he said. "It's all about communication and a dialogue between individuals -- get rid of the labels, get rid of the shame, get rid of the stigmas and just be your most authentic self." 

All-inclusive message or not, women comprised 96 percent of the opening weekend audience for "Magic Mike XXL," which The Hollywood Reporter called "unheard of."  

H/T Towleroad and Unicorn...

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Fundraising Effort For Anti-Gay Bakery Breaks Records

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 2:18 PM


After Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein turned away a lesbian couple who sought a wedding cake, a judge ordered the couple to pay $135,000 for violating their state's anti-discrimination laws. The Kleins complained that the amount would ruin them financially.  


Now, however, that may no longer...

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Cara Delevingne: 'My Sexuality Is Not A Phase. I Am Who I Am.'

(3) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 11:33 AM


Cara Delevingne has responded to a controversial magazine profile that characterized her bisexuality as a passing phase.


In the July issue of Vogue, the model-actress, 22, opened up about her relationships with both men and women, and said that "being in love" with her girlfriend...

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Anti-Gay Pastor Warns Of A 'Sodomite Demon,' Contracted Through Kissing And Sex

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 4:03 PM

The New York pastor who made headlines last year for arguing that Starbucks flavored its coffee drinks with "sodomites' semen" is back with a fresh set of bizarre claims that we couldn't make up if we tried.

This time, James David Manning of ATLAH World Missionary Church is warning heterosexual women about a "sodomite demon," which can be contracted through sexual intercourse with men who have had sex with other men, Right Wing Watch first reported.  

"If a man injects himself in another man and injects his semen into him, and he's crazy, then that's gonna get in his blood as well," Manning told viewers on his "Manning Report" YouTube program this week. Describing a man's semen as the "cream of the blood" that is "even more powerful than blood," he added, "If demons are in him... you're gonna get penetrated by demons." 

According to Manning's eyebrow-raising logic, however, abstinence isn't enough. 

"Even the kissing of someone who has demons in their blood, their saliva can give you a disease," he noted. 

Earlier this year, Manning said he'd witnessed a lot of gay activity and even what he described as a "same-sex marriage" during his years in a Florida correctional facility, Raw Story reported. He even said there was "no doubt" he'd personally experienced same-sex attraction during his incarceration, although he noted that he "didn't yield to temptation."

Manning's church, which is located in New York's Harlem neighborhood, has been courting controversy regularly for its stance on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In February 2014, photos of a sign that had been posted outside of the church which read, "Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black woman. A white homo may take your man," found their way onto social media. 

The church then later replaced the sign with one that read, "Jesus would stone homos," along with "Stoning is still the...

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Gay U.S. Veteran Sounds Off On Military's Plan To Lift Ban On Transgender Soldiers

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 1:35 PM

Author and journalist Rob Smith joined HuffPost Live this week to discuss news that the U.S. military will soon lift its ban on transgender people. 

The openly gay Smith, who served in the military before the 2011 repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said he wasn't surprised by the shift, although he acknowledged it was long overdue. 

"What we wanted from the very beginning was to completely lift the ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender soldiers," Smith, who is the author of Closets, Combat and Coming Out: Coming Of Age As A Gay Man In The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Army, said.

Once transgender people are allowed to serve, he added, the military should consider adding a non-discrimination policy that includes gender identity and sexual orientation. 

"We can't have the ability for trans soldiers to serve openly and not have them be protected from that discrimination," he said.

While roughly 15,500 transgender people are estimated to be currently serving in the military, almost all of them are forced to do so in secret since the Department of Defense's current policy forbids openly transgender individuals from...

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YouTube Star Joey Graceffa Talks Coming Out, New Book In GLAAD Interview

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 2:06 PM

YouTube star Joey Graceffa opened up about his decision to come out publicly as gay, telling GLAAD in a new interview that he wanted fans who may be struggling with their own sexuality "to not feel so alone." 

"Originally I needed something to encompass [my new book, In Real Life: My Journey Through a Pixelated World] in a video format," Graceffa told GLAAD's Claire Pires of "Don't Wait," the fairy tale-themed music video released in May, in which the 24-year-old addressed his sexuality for the first time. "So I thought it would be really cool to incorporate three main things in the music video: bullying, dealing with [my mother’s] alcoholism, coming to terms with your sexuality and accepting yourself."

It turned out to be a winning approach. One month after it was posted, the "Don't Wait" video has drawn over 8 million views. 

Coming out, Graceffa added, put "an army" of speculation to rest, but it was far from the most difficult subject he delved into for the book.

"Talking about my history with my mom and her alcoholism was definitely really tough," he said, "but also talking about my first dating experiences and getting my heart broken and re-living those moments...I guess I just have this thing of just pushing things aside in the back of my mind. Writing this, I had to go back through it all." 

In Real Life: My Journey Through a Pixelated World hit shelves on May...

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