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.
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.
3. It's OK to acknowledge the pain you've gone through — coming out won't make all that past suffering magically disappear.
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.
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.
6. You'll probably realize that coming out will positively benefit* many of the relationships in your life.
*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.
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.
9. Others may suggest you have ulterior motives for coming out. Don't let their words get in your head — they're wrong.
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.
11. Coming out can be tough ... but it doesn't mean there's no room for laughs along the way.
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.