To any LGBTQ person yearning to be themselves, the time may have come to burst through those closet doors.

Oct. 11, 2016, is National Coming Out Day.

Coming out to the world as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer can bring on a ton of overwhelming feelings: liberation, pain, exhaustion, downright terror, etc. — unfortunately, there really is no character limit to the emotional toll of that moment.


When I came out to my sister over spinach and artichoke dip — confessing my Hollywood crush was, in fact, on Colin Farrell, not Hilary Duff — I'm pretty sure I was feeling all of those things times 10.

That's why National Coming Out Day is such an important idea: It unites our community in solidarity so we can all have each others' backs on what could be one of the most pivotal days in many of our lives.

In honor of the big day, I've collected 11 of my favorite, most telling quotes about coming out from various LGBTQ celebrities, each served with a small sliver of advice for anyone preparing for their moment to shine.

1. Coming out is about you, first and foremost. But an added benefit is that the more out people there are, the better it is for our world.

Anderson Cooper, journalist.

2. Your identity isn't worth compromising. And once you understand that, it will probably feel like a two-ton weight has been lifted off you.

Laverne Cox, actress.

3. It's OK to acknowledge the pain you've gone through — coming out won't make all that past suffering magically disappear.

Ellen Page, actress.

4. You are the only one — the only one — in charge of your life and your story. Don't be afraid to take the steering wheel.

Michael Sam, athlete.

5. You don't need to worry about feeling anxious, scared, and hesitant. Those of us who've been there get it: The struggle is real.

Chaz Bono, TV personality.

6. You'll probably realize that coming out will positively benefit* many of the relationships in your life.

Ricky Martin, musician.

*And if coming out harms a relationship, you may want to re-examine that relationship; if someone is homophobic or transphobic, it's on them to grow and accept you.

7. It's not just a cliché — things really do get better. But that doesn't mean you won't struggle with your identity or sexuality ever again.

Sara Gilbert, actress.

8. Don't be surprised if the sky seems a shade bluer after coming out — living your truth can change the way you see the whole world.

Frank Ocean, musician.

9. Others may suggest you have ulterior motives for coming out. Don't let their words get in your head — they're wrong.

Caitlyn Jenner, Olympian and TV personality.

10. If you don't have too many LGBTQ role models to turn to, don't fret. You can be the person you once needed down the road.

Orlando Cruz, athlete.

11. Coming out can be tough ... but it doesn't mean there's no room for laughs along the way.

Ellen DeGeneres, comedian.

If you're thinking about coming out, remember: There are plenty of resources and supporters out there, should you want a helping hand.

The single best piece of advice I can give you (disclaimer: I'm not a celebrity) is to always keep in mind there's no one-size-fits-all guide to coming out, nor should there be. Lots of variables go into when and how you should burst through that door, so it's OK to play by your own rules and pave your own path.

Stay safe, stay strong, and remember: You got this.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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