Karamo Brown wholeheartedly believes LGBTQ people should own their coming out stories and experiences.

That's why the "Queer Eye" star made the personal decision to avoid the phrase "coming out" altogether in his own life.

And his reasoning actually makes a whole lot of sense.

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If you wonder why the LGBTQ community holds Pride parades, look no further than Grayson Fritts.

If you don't know who Grayson Fritts is, here's a brief intro:

He's a pastor. He's a police officer. And he is on video screaming from the pulpit that the government should kill gay people.

That's not an exaggeration.

In a video of a fist-pounding sermon at All Scripture Baptist church in Knoxville, Tennessee, Fritts said that police should round up people at Pride parades, put them through a quick trial, and then put them to death.

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Cody Barlow on Facebook

There's an unfortunate — but not inaccurate — stereotype that people who live down south don't support LGBT+ rights. The story, of course, is much more complex. In Kentucky, for instance, where I got married because Kim Davis told me I couldn't, the reactions I got from residents ran from "Wow, we're so happy for you!" to "just don't talk about it here," to my brother telling me that maybe I should focus on "not speaking" in one small town which I would have happily moved to (if not for the homophobia) because there was a video rental/tanning salon combo on the main street.

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A few nights ago, I was sitting in a dark theater — popcorn in hand and tears leaking down my face — embarrassingly bent out of a shape from a movie trailer. Fred Rogers was to blame.

The whimsical theme song to "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" concluded a short but powerfully nostalgic preview for the new documentary about the soft-spoken star, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" And yeah, I'd morphed into a teary-eyed hot mess in a matter of seconds.

A question popped into my queer little brain right then, though, and I'm not entirely sure why:



Could Rogers have quietly been a homophobe?

He was a religious dude who grew up in a wildly different era than today. It's a toxic combination that, if we're overgeneralizing and I reflect on my personal experience, tends to produce the worst kinds of homophobes. Had the former Presbyterian minister been as saintly to queers like me as he'd been to seemingly everyone else?

I needed answers! So I went searching.

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