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National Coming Out Day: Robert Gant, Dan Amboyer, and Mario Cantone share their stories

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I look at this boy at this moment (I’m guessing I was about 13) and remember the immense sadness he felt. Despite having many positive things in his life, the underlying pain at having to hide who he was permeated everything. It’s appropriate that National Coming Out Day is happening the day after World Mental Health Day. I remember feeling considerable depression and anxiety brought on by the misconception that I wasn’t valuable or worthy as a result of my gayness. It still asserts itself today when that underlying hum of not feeling valuable tries to break through. Today, I say to this boy and to any others who are struggling to love and embrace who you are as LGBTQ folk that you are perfect. You are inherently valuable, equal to all others, and nothing, absolutely nothing, can diminish that unarguable truth. Come out when you are ready and know that we are all here to love you exactly as you are. Which, again, is perfect. #NationalComingOutDay #WorldMentalHealthDay

A post shared by Robert Gant (@robertgant) on

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it’s #nationalcomingoutday. it’s a journey, not a destination. sometimes I still come out twice a day. a nurse saying what a good dad I am to let mom stay at home while Teddy gets his shots. the census taker, new co-worker, person chatting in line for coffee, whatever. it’s constant, and please know that the first time is the scariest, to whoever might be reading this that is currently struggling. my one wish would be that you are blessed with someone who will truly listen in your moment of supreme vulnerability, hear you, and wrap you in love after the first time you gain the courage to say “I’m _____.” my story was not straightforward, in and out of the closet, some destructive behavior. it took years to settle to a place where I could love myself. and we must also acknowledge that sometimes it’s just not safe to come out, or in your best interest. yet. but better days are ahead, give yourself license to take it one breath at a time. I could have never imagined all the beauty life had in store for me during those dark years isolated in “the closet.” here’s a few pics from my journey so far, which all started by confiding in a few friends in middle school. #comingout #husbands #twodads

A post shared by Dan Amboyer (@danamboyer) on

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#nationalcomingoutday I was 12. It was 1972. I wasted no time. I thought…Fuck em!

A post shared by Mario Cantone (@macantone) on

FILE UNDER: Coming Out

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