I asked LGBTQ celebs what advice they'd give their younger selves. Here's what they said.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be? Be bolder? Care less (or more) about schoolwork? Don't sweat the small stuff?

We'd all have words of wisdom to pass down. But for LGBTQ people who've struggled with their identities as kids, those words may carry especially critical messages.

I posed the question to LGBTQ stars and allies who walked the red carpet at TrevorLive — a fundraising gala benefitting The Trevor Project — on June 11 in New York.

Here's what they had to say.


Figure skater Adam Rippon and skier Gus Kenworthy — two of the first openly gay male Olympians to compete for the U.S. — hosted TrevorLive. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy: "I would tell myself that — as hard as I'm going to try to be what everyone expects me to be or what I thought everyone expects me to be — in the end, it's not going to make me happy."  

"The only time I'm really going to be happy is when I understand that and accept myself for who I am, and share that self with the world. And hopefully would have encouraged myself to do it a lot earlier."

Skiier Gus Kenworthy is among the first openly gay male Olympians in U.S. history. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

"Orange Is the New Black" star Natasha Lyonne: "I would tell myself, 'Kid, if you can make it — you, you troublemaker — we all can make it. It gets better.'"

"I would say to that person that everyone is a little bit broken, and that's their underlying beauty. So that's OK."

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Film producer Greg Berlanti: "A lot of the things I wanted to change about myself back then are the things I love most about myself now."

"And it doesn't seem possible when you're in that moment because you feel like they're preventing you from having the life that you want. But really they end up being the sort of gateway to the life that you want."

"Love, Simon" director Greg Berlanti, who won the evening's Hero Award, prioritizes LGBTQ representation in his many film and TV projects. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Model and TV personality Carmen Carrera: "One word of advice I would probably give my younger self is to talk to my mom. Just talk to mom!"

"Tell her how you feel. And just know that everything is going to be OK — that you are a human being, that you belong here, that you have a place here, and you don't ever have to worry about people not loving you."

Carmen Carrera is a trailblazing transgender model and TV personality. Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

Internet star and activist Raymond Braun: "I would say, 'I love you,' because my 10-year-old self was struggling a lot."

"At that point, I knew that I was gay, but I thought that I was going to live my entire life in the closet and never come out. I had so much internalized shame and hatred about my identity because I was being bullied every day."

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

"I would have told myself to call [The Trevor Project] because I would have known there were resources out there and people out there."

The night was full of both celebration and sobering reflections for the 20-year-old nonprofit, which fights suicide among LGBTQ youth.

The event raised over $2 million for The Trevor Project — the most ever garnered from TrevorLive. Every penny of that and more is still desperately needed to save young lives.

Teens who identity as queer — and especially those who identify as transgender — are disproportionately affected by suicide. And while society has taken significant strides forward in LGBTQ rights and visibility, that progress has been met with backlash, fresh challenges, and a vicious political climate that often leaves queer youth particularly vulnerable.

Producer and actress Lena Waithe, who took home the organization's Hero Award alongside Berlanti, reminded the room that there's still much that needs to be done.

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project.

"I'm really moved by the stories I'm hearing and the faces I'm seeing and all the love — but don't treat each other like this just in this room," she said. "We need to take it out into the world. ... It's our job to make sure all queer people are human. They weren't born to be perfect. They were born to be whole."

Learn more about LGBTQ youth suicide and support The Trevor Project here.

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Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other time, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

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If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

Well Being
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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Nature


Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

But let's allow Rep. King to explain himself in his own words:

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Democracy