Coming out can be liberating, painful, and exhausting. These 11 celeb quotes say it all.

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.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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