Think 'coming out' is synonymous with 'gay'? Time to rethink that.

Chances are, if you use the Internet, you've run into a "coming out" moment.

In this type of moment, the person is "coming out" of the closet to a family member, to a friend, or to the world, usually through a video. Sometimes, it might be in an interview instead of a video.

Famous folks like Michael Sam, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ellen Page have done it.


Image via Human Rights Campaign.

And thousands of everyday people have uploaded videos of their experiences too.

Aaron and Austin Rhodes' coming out video to their father was a tearjerker. Image via the Rhodes Bros.

Many of the coming out videos that circulate on Facebook, go viral, and get all the attention and feels are where the person is coming out as gay.

But did you know that's not the only expression of identity that people are coming out with?

That's right. "Coming out" can be about more than being gay.

Bruce Jenner came out as a woman.

Image via ABC News.

DJ and model Ruby Rose came out as genderfluid. In Ruby's words, genderfluid is "feel[ing] more like I wake up every day sort of gender neutral," meaning Ruby doesn't squarely identify as either man or woman.


Image via Ruby Rose's video, which you can read more about here.

Singer R. Kelly's son, Jay, who recently came out as a transgender boy.

Image via MadameNoire.

So if coming out isn't just about sexual orientation or gender identity, what else could "coming out" mean? Let us count the ways in this infographic by Sex Ed Plus.


http://sexedplus.tumblr.com/post/101440852716/coming-out-follow-for-more-like-this-get-a-poster

Coming out means something different for everyone. And despite the prevalence of one single type on your Facebook feed, there are plenty more happening every single day.

Let's remember to have compassion for the folks with all kinds of coming out stories.

Anyone who has gone through the process of disentangling themselves from an addiction knows it's an ongoing, daily battle. It may get easier, and the payoffs may become more apparent, but it's still a decision someone makes each day to stay detached from their substance of choice.

Seeing someone who has a long record of sobriety—especially after a very public struggle—can be motivating and inspiring for others in different stages of their recovery journey. That's part of why actor Rob Lowe's announcement that he's reached 31 years sober is definitely something to celebrate.

"Today I have 31 years drug and alcohol free," Lowe wrote on Twitter. "I want to give thanks to everyone walking this path with me, and welcome anyone thinking about joining us; the free and the happy. And a big hug to my family for putting up with me!! Xoxo"

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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