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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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

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Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

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Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


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Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

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Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

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Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

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L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

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Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.