Coming Out: Living Authentically as Black LGBTQ+ People

Human Rights Campaign Foundation, October 2023 | 35 Minute Read.

No matter who we are or whom we love, we all deserve the right to live out our lives genuinely, completely and honestly.


We all deserve the right to live our lives genuinely, completely and honestly.

Race, ethnicity, language, religion, culture, gender expression, sexual orientation and gender identity should never be barriers to us living our full lives.

For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, coming out is often a significant part of reclaiming this right and living in our identity publicly. For those who identify as Black LGBTQ+ people, the coming out process can be complex to navigate.

This resource is designed for those embarking on their own coming out journey in the United States at the intersections of Black and LGBTQ+ identities. This guide aims to recognize the unique experiences Black LGBTQ+ people have in coming out, while understanding that coming out is a personal choice and the lifelong coming out experience is different for everyone. In addition, this guide recognizes that Black communities are no more homophobic than white and other non-Black communities, even though they may be called out as such in politics and culture.

We hope that it can provide you and your loved ones with ideas, advice, education and support during this process.

A note on the use of “queer”

Throughout this document, the word “queer” is used as an umbrella term for non-straight identities. While the term “queer” has been used as a slur, in recent years it has become a word of empowerment.

Coming Out is a Personal Choice

Before coming out, it is important to evaluate your unique circumstances and create a safe space for yourself. Look for supportive people you can turn to during times of need, especially if you believe you may face disapproval or rejection from your family, friends or community. Depending on your individual situation, pick a place and time to come out that makes you feel the most comfortable and safe.

Be aware that LGBTQ+ people who live openly face discrimination and even violence. This is especially true for Black LGBTQ+ people who face increased discrimination at the intersection of white supremacy, anti-Blackness and anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes. These systems of oppression have real consequences: Black LGBTQ+ people face some of the highest risks of violence, workplace discrimination, homelessness, HIV and AIDS, and healthcare disparities and mistreatment in America.

Coming out is a process in which you transition from living privately or discretely to being more visible in your identity — and there is no one way to do it. Some LGBTQ+ people choose to only come out to certain people in their lives, while others do so to everyone. Coming out as LGBTQ+ should be done on your terms and at your pace. No matter what your journey looks like, seek out resources and support from those who affirm your identity.

Remember, you are not alone:

Across the United States, the strong community of Black LGBTQ+ people, family members and allies support you and love you exactly as you are.

We hope that the stories of courage and authenticity shared in this resource can inspire you and provide strength and perseverance should you face roadblocks during your journey. Refer to our special section on Black LGBTQ+ History and Culture to learn more about the community’s proud heritage.

Black LGBTQ+ people live proudly, openly and powerfully, making myriad contributions in business, social justice, government, sports, the arts and entertainment.

A note on the use of “white supremacy”

When we discuss white supremacy, we are referring to an intentionally created and historically maintained political, social and economic system in which white people, both individually and collectively, are able to control power and resources and maintain conscious and/or unconscious beliefs about their superiority. (1)

Coming Out for Black LGBTQ+ People

Although Black people come from various cultural, regional and ethnic backgrounds, those who come out as LGBTQ+ often share similar experiences and challenges.

Some who were raised in religious communities must reconcile with traditions and teachings that may condemn or reject LGBTQ+ identities. Others must grapple with multicultural identities, experiences and institutions within the Black community that operate under anti-LGBTQ+ policy and practice. A lack of Black LGBTQ+ representation in media, entertainment and politics perpetuates invisibility. However, hypervisibility can also make Black LGBTQ+ people vulnerable, as shown by the high levels of fatal violence experienced by Black trans women. On top of these experiences, the Black community must also contend with the realities of systemic racism and anti-Blackness that influence all facets of their daily lives — including their LGBTQ+ identities.

After coming out, some LGBTQ+ people report that they are able to better communicate with their family and friends, leading to stronger relationships and greater mutual understanding. The following sections discuss common issues that arise during the coming out process for those who are both Black and LGBTQ+.

Coming Out to Family

Coming out to family can be difficult for many LGBTQ+ people, but it can pose additional challenges for those with family members who hold attitudes or beliefs that set rigid norms for gender expression, sexuality and relationships.

In 2022, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation partnered with researchers at the University of Connecticut to conduct a groundbreaking survey of over 12,000 LGBTQ+ youth and capture their experiences in their families, schools, social circles and communities.

A note on the use of “cisgender”

“Cisgender” is a term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. We use both transgender and gender-expansive to describe all non-cisgender respondents, because every person defines their identity differently. For example, some non-binary people identify as transgender, but not all do.

Coming out announcements can be uncomfortable and even scary for all parties involved. Before bringing this news to relatives more widely, you may consider identifying a trusted family member or friend to help you navigate these difficult conversations.

Though we have seen encouraging developments in LGBTQ+ visibility and legal recognition throughout the United States, LGBTQ+ people around the world still face stigma, discrimination and even violence in many communities and across racial groups — as homophobia and transphobia are not exclusive to Black communities.

It’s important to know that your LGBTQ+ identity should not be a cause of shame or pain, which come from the prejudices around you—not from who you are or who you love.

Reactions Family Members May Have

Some family members may embrace your news immediately, while others may require time to work through concerns or fears they have regarding the unfamiliar or unknown. Others may never accept it. Regardless of their reaction, it is important that you are prepared, supported and safe.

Unfortunately, the lack of familiarity and exposure to LGBTQ+ people may lead some family members to mistakenly believe that being LGBTQ+ is wrong or invalid. Embracing a child’s or relative’s LGBTQ+ identity can be challenging for those raised in places, religions or cultures that supported homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, or where information about LGBTQ+ identities was less widely available. Language or cultural barriers can also make it challenging to directly discuss or even translate language related to LGBTQ+ identities and experiences.

Another common reaction that family members may have is fear. Some family members who you might have assumed were supportive of LGBTQ+ people may seem cold when you share your LGBTQ+ identity with them.

They may be afraid that you will suffer and be mistreated as a result of who you are or they may act irrationally toward you. In the case of an irrational reaction, remember that your safety comes first. In instances where there is space for learning and dialogue, remind your family members that supporting you and providing a safe haven is the greatest gift they can give in the face of prejudice and challenges.

When considering if, when or how to come out to your family members, consider the full range of reactions that could arise from disclosing your LGBTQ+ identity, especially if you are financially dependent on any of them. Most importantly, remember that your LGBTQ+ identity is valid, regardless of your family’s understanding or acceptance.

Supporting Family Members in their Process

Just as you are on a coming out journey, your family members may take their own journey in learning your truth.

You can help them through this process by directing them to educational resources about LGBTQ+ identities, including sources that help with overcoming myths and misconceptions.

It is also important to note that many resources focused on family acceptance often predominantly or exclusively feature white stories, leaving out crucial perspectives and considerations for Black LGBTQ+ people. This can make it challenging to share relevant information with the people in your life. However, there are organizations doing meaningful and powerful work to support Black LGBTQ+ families — some of these resources can be found in the Additional Resources section of this resource guide.

During this sensitive time, stay strong and acknowledge the feelings of your family members, but understand that disrespect is not something you have to accept. Remember to acknowledge, honor and assert your own feelings as well. Over time, it is quite common for family members to move from feelings of disappointment and confusion, to simple tolerance, to understanding, and finally to acceptance and love.

Many parents move beyond acceptance to fully embrace and celebrate their LGBTQ+ children, both in public and private.

Black LGBTQ+ Immigrants

The immigrant experience is intricately tied with the lived experiences of many Black LGBTQ+ people.

Africans make up 39% of the Black population born outside of the United States. Some people also identify as Afro-Latinx, an identity most often representing Latin Americans with significant African ancestry. One quarter of all Latinx in the United States self-identify as Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean or of African descent with roots in Latin America.

Some Black LGBTQ+ immigrants in the United States come from countries that may be less accepting or even intolerant of LGBTQ+ people. In some countries, LGBTQ+ identities are criminalized. Thankfully, there are activists and organizations across the globe challenging systems that censor, invalidate, incarcerate or even physically harm LGBTQ+ people.

Terms like “forcibly migrated” and “immigrant” are often used in research data. Their use in this section is not intended to diminish enslavement in any way or to compare people who came through the traditional immigration process with those who were enslaved.

Throughout the history of the United States, various administrations and politicians have used inflammatory rhetoric, abolished important immigrant protections and committed other anti-immigrant actions that have attacked the well-being and dignity of thousands of LGBTQ+ immigrants regardless of their immigration status or country of birth. In the face of these attacks, remember that no one can make you any less American, Black, LGBTQ+ or any other identity you may hold. More importantly, no one can ever make you any less deserving of love and respect. You are part of a supportive and affirmative community of millions of Black LGBTQ+ people and allies who will continue fighting with and for you.

Multiculturalism and Code-Switching

Many Black people are living in a multicultural world, grappling with the norms and expectations of Black cultures, white American society and the culture of their country of origin or descent.

Determining when, if and how to work through these overlapping realities — especially if they seem to conflict — can be challenging.

Though it is impossible to separate your identities — you are always whole — it may seem like you need to lean more or less into certain identities based on your context, safety and comfort. This is often referred to as code-switching, or contextually altering your behavior, speech or expression in order to protect yourself from discriminatory outcomes. Code-switching describes the use of different dialects, accents, language combinations and mannerisms within social groups in order to project a particular identity.

It’s important to remember that how you live should not be defined by others’ beliefs about how you “should” or “should not” behave based on your gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Depending on your situation, this may be difficult to manage if such beliefs are reinforced by your family, peers or community. However, you will likely find that it gets easier to navigate these interactions over time, especially as you gain a greater sense of self and better understand what values are truly important to you.

Your intersectional identity* can mean speaking multiple languages and engaging in cross-cultural communication, being both Black and LGBTQ+, or code-switching. Expressing your sexual orientation or gender identity is difficult for many people, especially when they are first coming out. Conveying these complex feelings and emotions across cultural or language barriers can be even more challenging.

*“intersectional identity” is explained in the following section

Just as there is no singular Black experience, there is no single way to live out your own identity. The lack of visibility of prominent Black LGBTQ+ figures can sometimes make you feel like you are not reflected in the world. Even within Black LGBTQ+ communities, there is much work to be done to embrace the wide diversity of the Black community, including addressing the colorism and internalized homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that impacts many members of our community.

Above all, know that there is no specific Black “mold” you have to fit, even as you may feel pressure from your family or community. Being LGBTQ+ does not make you any “less” Black, or any “less” of any other national heritage, ethnic or racial identity you may hold. Your Blackness cannot be earned or diminished — it will always be a part of you, no matter what language you speak, who you are or whom you love.


Intersectionality is a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a Black American lawyer, civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, to capture the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism and classism) combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. It is also often used to refer to the ways in which we hold multiple, intersecting identities at once (e.g., being a second-generation Nigerian-American, non-binary person).

Reconciling Religion & Faith

Religion plays a significant role in the lives of many people in Black communities.

Over 59% of Black Americans say that religion is very important to them and 63% pray daily. About 75% of adult Black Americans identify as Christian, including historically Black Protestant, evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant, Catholic and others.(2) In addition, there are many Black people who practice Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, many other forms of religion and spirituality.

More than half of Black people in the United States belong to a historically Black Protestant faith. The historically Black church has long served as a unifying force for many Black people in the United States, functioning both as a place of catharsis and hope dating back to enslavement, and as a place of mobilization and political power. However, it has also served as a place of trauma for many Black LGBTQ+ people.

It may feel difficult to reconcile religious beliefs with your LGBTQ+ identity. However, millions of LGBTQ+ people are people of faith and many religious communities and denominations that were once non-affirming now recognize that embracing LGBTQ+ people is in line with the strong religious and spiritual values of compassion, love and the commitment to treat others how they would like to be treated. The number of affirming religious communities across the country is steadily increasing.

It is important to recognize that even if you are able to reconcile your faith and LGBTQ+ identity, your family or community may still have difficulty accepting your sexual orientation or gender identity because of their own religious beliefs or traditions.

Other Coming Out Considerations

Coming Out at School

Coming out at school can be a significant decision for people of all ages, especially in communities or on campuses where LGBTQ+ people are not yet fully or openly embraced. Many school districts, colleges and universities actively and openly support their LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff. Unfortunately, many schools are also unsafe for LGBTQ+ students — and bullying can be pervasive.

Before deciding to come out at school, consider:

  • Does your city, state, school district or university have inclusive nondiscrimination and anti-bullying policies to protect LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff?
  • If you are not fully out in your community or to your family, can your physical safety and privacy be guaranteed if you are out at school? Students who rely on family members for financial support may need to carefully weigh their specific circumstances when coming out.
  • Who are the classmates, teachers, counselors and other adults at school whom you can trust and can go to for support during your coming out process?
  • Does your school have a dedicated safe space or affirming organizations, such as a Queer Straight Alliance, LGBTQ+ resource center, or organizations that serve Black LGBTQ+ communities?

Even if your school is relatively LGBTQ+ inclusive, it is still important to consider the ways in which homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism and anti-Blackness may be institutionalized into your program. Things like increased police presence or bias-ridden disciplinary policies contribute to the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which disproportionately and unfairly pushes LGBTQ+ youth of color out of school and into disciplinary settings. Furthermore, racial biases, pressure to perform, tokenism, Eurocentric education and a lack of support make it challenging for Black LGBTQ+ people to thrive on campuses across the country. Several states have also issued bans on teaching Black history through attacks on “Critical Race Theory” and on LGBTQ+ subjects through “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” laws.

It is important to identify spaces, educators, and peers within or around your educational system that provide you the space to live in your identity. This could be a club, class, organization, group of friends or a single teacher. Having an educational environment where you know that your racial, ethnic and LGBTQ+ identity is affirmed can make a huge difference in your safety and well-being. But always remember: Coming out at school should be your own personal decision made at your own pace and should never threaten your safety.

For more information about this topic, please refer to Lambda Legal’s Know Your Rights for LGBTQ+ students.

For more information and to get connected to other Black LGBTQ+ campus leaders, check out HRC’S HBCU program. You can also find LGBTQ+ affirming resources that reflect a commitment to educating and advancing racial justice through HRC’s Welcoming Schools Resources.

Coming Out at Work

Just as in other facets of life, being out at work can be a daunting challenge. This is especially true for Black LGBTQ+ people — research details the magnified negative impact of both racism and anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes on Black LGBTQ+ workers. Black LGBTQ+ people face some of the highest rates of unwarranted background checks, hiring biases, unequal pay, lack of mentorship and advancement, workplace discrimination and harassment on the job.

No one wants to put their job security, economic stability or opportunity for advancement in jeopardy. However, if it’s at all a possibility for you, coming out can relieve some of the daily stress of hiding who you are.

Before choosing to come out at work, consider:

  • Does your employer have a formal non-discrimination policy that specifically covers race, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression? Check the official Equal Employment Opportunity statement (usually found on company websites and in employee handbooks) to ensure that the non-discrimination policy covers all of your identities.
  • Does your state or locality have a non-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression?
  • Is your company ranked on the HRC Corporate Equality Index? If so, what rating has it earned? • Are your employer’s health benefits fully LGBTQ+-inclusive, including covering transition-related health care and domestic partner benefits?
  • Does your employer have LGBTQ+ or Black employee networks or resource groups? If so, these may be good places to get support.
  • What is the overall climate in your workplace, including whether other LGBTQ+ people are out and how co-workers talk about LGBTQ+ people
  • What is the overall climate in your workplace regarding representation in leadership positions and in the workforce? How do others talk about the Black community and Black individuals?

For more information about this topic, please refer to HRC’s Coming Out at Work and Workplace Equality resources.

Allyship and Advocacy

Ally is not just a noun — it’s also a verb. Being an ally or advocate to any oppressed community means actively showing up, giving support and educating those around you without the expectation of receiving something in return. Allyship and advocacy go hand in hand.

We all have a critical role to play in dismantling the systems of oppression that continue to actively and passively discriminate against Black LGBTQ+ people in all areas of life.

Allies can help people coming out feel safe by researching and sharing culturally competent, linguistically appropriate resources, making introductions to others who are LGBTQ+ allies and speaking up when others make anti-LGBTQ+ jokes and gender assumptions.

However, be aware that each person must make their own decisions about how and when to come out about their LGBTQ+ identity. No one should share that information for anyone else unless asked explicitly to do so.

Anyone can be an advocate for LGBTQ+ equality and fairness. Speak out, share information and educate others, especially those for whom LGBTQ+ identities may be unfamiliar.

Do not assume that just because a space is said to be LGBTQ+-inclusive, it is inclusive of all LGBTQ+ people. Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, white supremacy, racism and anti-Blackness manifest in various ways within LGBTQ+ communities, spaces and organizations. We all must draw attention to and educate others about the micro and macro ways in which racism, discrimination and double standards present for Black LGBTQ+ people. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit HRC’s ally resources.

I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community.

Janet Mock, a Black transgender rights activist, author and TV host, in her book Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

At the Intersections of Race and the LGBTQ+ Community

Racial discrimination continues to be a pervasive issue in our society.

The LGBTQ+ community is not untouched by racism, and as you seek love, understanding and equity, there may be times where you have to confront that reality. You may feel at home in your Black identity but uncomfortable expressing your sexual orientation or gender identity, or vice versa. There is ample work to be done by all communities to fully embrace intersectional and interwoven identities and experiences.

If you choose to come out and live publicly in your identity, you may find it helpful to surround yourself with others who recognize and affirm all of who you are, including both your Black and LGBTQ+ identities. Many LGBTQ+ people, including those who may not find full support among their families or communities of heritage, find love and support from “chosen family” who fully embrace them for who they are.

Most importantly, know that you are not alone.

Far beyond the proud community of Black LGBTQ+ people, there are many who support you and will accept you for who you are.

Black LGBTQ+ History and Culture

African queer heritage existed before colonization in many shapes, forms and experiences. Countless artifacts and oral histories reveal that LGBTQ+ identities and experiences existed in Africa throughout human history.

Many different cultures have long documented same-sex interactions and gender-expansive traditions, including:

In Nigeria, the Yan Daudu were individuals assigned male at birth who dressed in traditionally feminine garb and were accepted in northern Muslim regions.

In Kenya, the Meru had a leadership role called Mugawe which included wearing clothing and hairstyles typically reserved for women and could include formal marriage to a man. Similar roles existed among the Hutu and Tutsi peoples of Burundi and Rwanda.

The Dutch military met Nzinga in 1640, who succeeded her brother as the ngola, or “king.” She dressed in king’s garments and was referred to as King in what is present day Angola.

Senegalese Gor Digen were a group of individuals assigned male at birth who dressed as women and were viewed as a crucial part of the community.

In Burkina Faso, the Dagaaba people believed that men who had sex with men were able to bridge the human and spirit worlds through meditation.

In Egypt, the Khawal were individuals assigned male at birth who dressed in traditionally feminine clothing to entertain people with songs and dance.

There are 5,000-year-old Indigenous Bushman works of art on southern African rocks and cave walls that depict same-sex intimacy between men.

In Southern Ethiopia, the Maale people documented a small group of men protected by the king who carried out traditionally feminine roles and tasks, and had sexual relationships with men.

In Uganda, there were highly-respected religious roles where those assigned male at birth dressed in traditionally feminine clothing.

Some of these communities, traditions and roles are still present in many parts of Africa today. However, colonization had a large negative effect on the expression of sexuality and gender in many parts of Africa, particularly through the criminalization of queer intimacy and relations.

Roles, communities and expressions that were once well-known and respected may now seem to conflict with the modern misconception that queerness and gender-expansiveness are “not African.”

In reality, queerness is inextricably tied to Blackness and African culture and history— it is an integral part of the past, present and future.

LGBTQ+ Progress in the 21st Century

LGBTQ+ equality has seen forward momentum in recent years in African, Caribbean and Afro-Latinx countries, led by the courage and persistence of local activists and allies, even in countries where LGBTQ+ people are still ostracized or persecuted.

In 2018, a Trinidad and Tobago judge ruled the nation’s colonial-era laws banning sex between two persons of the same gender was unconstitutional. This sets a precedent for similar advances in many other Caribbean nations. In addition, several African countries like Lesotho, São Tomé and Príncipe, Mozambique, the Seychelles, and Angola have abolished similar laws.

Black and Afro-Latinx leaders are also championing progress in governments and offices across the world. In some countries, LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance have progressed even further, or more quickly, than in the United States. For example, South Africa is often seen as a leader in LGBTQ+ rights throughout Africa. Beginning in the early 2000s, South Africa legalized marriage equality and adoption by same-sex couples. Anti-discrimination laws there also ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Contemporary Black LGBTQ+ Leaders

Today, we celebrate the myriad of stories and contributions of Black LGBTQ+ people who continue to provide leadership, visibility and pride to their diverse communities.

Below we highlight a few Black LGBTQ+ leaders and figures. This list is by no means exhaustive — there are countless leaders around the world doing important work for Black LGBTQ+ people every single day.

Activists and Advocates like Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy have been recognized worldwide for their participation in the Stonewall Riots. The 1969 riots against the anti-LGBTQ+ New York Police Department were a milestone in the modern LGBTQ+ movement. Led by Black transgender women, queer men and women and gender non-conforming people, these five days of rioting are an important part of both Black and LGBTQ+ history. Similar acts of resistance — at Compton Cafeteria and Black Cat — were also famous moments in history.

More recently, the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality, racism and anti-Blackness was started by three Black and Brown queer women — Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza. Dubbed as the modern day civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter has helped to create structural changes and policies across the United States and galvanized marginalized people to fight for their rights from an intersectional feminist lens that is inclusive of Black LGBTQ+ people.

Black LGBTQ+ people throughout history have contributed to media, the arts, sports, activism, advocacy and politics. Their advancements enhance the lives and existence of LGBTQ+ people everywhere.

I feel like visibility and representation… create change. It’s when we are visible that we have the power to create empathy.

Billy Porter, Actor, Singer, Writer and Director

Black LGBTQ+ Stories in Film and Television

Although Black LGBTQ+ people are often underrepresented in mass media and entertainment, trailblazing artists continue to pave the way and share their stories.

Films like The Color Purple, The Watermelon Woman, Tongues United, Paris Is Burning, Set It Off and Young Soul Rebels were instrumental in depicting parts of Black LGBTQ+ identities, experiences and truths in the 1980s and 1990s. The 1990s were neither the beginning nor the end of Black LGBTQ+ visibility in film, however, and recent years have provided us with films such as Blackbird, Tangerine, Pariah, I am Not Your Negro,The Skinny, Bessie, Naz & Maalik, Kiki, Brother to Brother and Punks. In 2017, Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

More and more television shows are featuring Black LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. Shows like Sense8, Dear White People, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, True Blood, Master of None, Orange Is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Empire, The L Word, Arrow, Queen Sugar, Noah’s Arc, Pose, The Handmaid’s Tale, Looking, Cucumber, Glee, Six Feet Under, Black Mirror, RuPaul’s Drag Race,

Sex Education, The Wire, Black Lighting, The Bold Type, UnREAL, This Is Us, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Shameless, The Fosters, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Queer Eye and Riverdale feature Black LGBTQ+ talent, characters, storylines and experiences.

Recently, Janet Mock became the first transgender woman to sign an overall deal with Netflix to write and direct content. Pose was also the first show to have a predominantly Black transgender and queer cast on network television.

Black LGBTQ+ people have been trailblazers in film and television, telling narratives that have always existed but have never been told. It’s important that the next generation of Black LGBTQ+ creatives continue to have this space to grow and expand in storytelling until their stories are the norm and not the exception.

Additional Resources

Educate and empower yourself and others. Support and resources are available.

The list below is in no way comprehensive of the vast number of organizations ready to support you. However, they may provide you with a good place to start.

Other Coming Out Guides

Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders LGBTQ+ Coming Out Resource

For many Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, coming out is a lifelong process that can require a different approach because of cultural norms or traditions that emphasize duty to family and community. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance and HRC Foundation's Coming Out as LGBTQ+ Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders resource is designed to aid LGBTQ+ API Americans in navigating the intersectional challenges when coming out.

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Latine LGBTQ+ Coming Out Resource

Coming Out: Living Authentically as LGBTQ+ Latine Americans resource is designed to aid LGBTQ+ Latine Americans in navigating the intersectional challenges when coming out. For those of us who identify as LGBTQ+ and as Latine Americans, the coming out process can be even more complex to navigate. Often, it requires a unique approach that can cut across multiple languages, cultures, nationalities, religious identities and family generations.

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Salir del Clóset: Vivir Auténticamente como Latinoamericanes LGBTQ+

Para quienes nos identificamos como LGBTQ+ y como latinoamericanes, el proceso de salir del clóset puede ser aún más complejo. A menudo, requiere un acercamiento único que puede atravesar múltiples lenguas, culturas, nacionalidades, identidades religiosas y generaciones familiares.

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Coming Out: Living Authentically as Transgender or Non-Binary

Coming Out: Living Authentically as Transgender or Non-Binary will use the phrase “transgender and non-binary” to try to best capture this broad array of identities. That being said, it is important to recognize that not all people in these groups may identify as transgender or non-binary. In addition, there may be transgender or nonbinary people whose gender does not fit in any of the terms described above. This resource is meant for anyone and everyone whose gender does not fit what they were assigned at birth. No matter who you are, we affirm you, and your gender is valid.

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Coming Out: Living Authentically as Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual+

Coming Out: Living Authentically as Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual+ was designed to help you and your loved ones through the coming out process in realistic and practical terms. It acknowledges that the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion — from paralyzing fear to unbounded euphoria.

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Coming Out: Living Authentically as Bisexual+

Coming out is different for every person. For bisexual people, coming out can present some unique challenges. As bisexual people, we face skepticism and stereotypes about our sexuality, we are ignored and excluded from LGBTQ+ spaces, and we are often invisible to each other - challenges that can make coming out a complicated process.

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Being an LGBTQ+ Ally

Being an LGBTQ+ Ally is designed to help build understanding and comfort. If you are new to LGBTQ+ issues, we will answer many of your questions. Or, if you have known LGBTQ+ people for years and are looking to find new ways to show your support, you can skim this resource and take the pieces that are relevant to you. It’s ok to not know everything — we’re here to help.

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