'Queer Eye's' Karamo Brown uses these 3 words instead of 'coming out'

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.


Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD.

Instead of saying "coming out," Brown prefers to use the phrase "letting people in."

It may seem like an inconsequential shift to some. But the culture expert on the new Netflix series — a reboot of Bravo's original "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" — understands the power of words.

"For me, 'coming out' gives the power to the other person to accept or deny you," he explained. "When you're 'inviting them in,' you have the power."

In an interview with NowThis News, Brown expanded on his rationale using an analogy his grandma once told him about inviting guests into his home (emphasis added):

"My grandmother said this and I loved the way she put it: Imagine if somebody came to your house and knocked on your door and you said, 'Hey, come into my fabulous home. It represents me.' And they were like, 'I don't like it.' You're not gonna cry. You're gonna close your door and feel comforted, because you're in your house. And that was the same way [with] me. When I was letting people into my life, if they didn't want to come into my life, I knew that was OK because I still had my home. I felt safe about myself."

Brown made it a point to clarify he doesn't take issue with others saying "coming out." It's simply a personal decision he's made to try to reframe the "letting people in" process as one that prioritizes self-care and empowerment. And that cause is just as relevant as ever.

We've made substantial gains in LGBTQ rights in recent decades, but a new GLAAD survey suggests that progress may not be as durable as we'd hoped it would be: For the first time since 2014, more non-LGBTQ Americans are uncomfortable with LGBTQ people than the year prior.

The stunning trend reversal reflects just how entrenched bigoted attitudes remain in our culture — and how daunting a task the "letting people in" process remains for far too many.

Brown wants every LGBTQ person to feel safe and supported on their own journeys of letting people in.

Brown with "Queer Eye" co-stars Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Shorty Awards.

Don't feel pressure to adhere to anyone's timeline but your own, the "Queer Eye" star advised those who aren't living openly as LGBTQ quite yet. Make sure to find other queer people and allies who will love you just the way you are.

And, of course, never lower the bar to excuse bigotry.

"If they do not want to come into your life immediately, that has nothing to do with you — they are on their own journey," Brown said. "Do not tolerate disrespect, because you deserve only the best."

If you want more tips and advice on "letting people in," check out online resources at GLAAD and The Trevor Project to learn more.

This article was originally published on April 24, 2018.

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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

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

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.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

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.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

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

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

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.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

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

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

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

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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.

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