GriZ: Out and Proud!

Maybe you’ve heard of GRiZ, Detroit DJ and producer – and maybe you haven’t. But he just came out in a heartfelt co-ed in Huffington Post – and that certainly merits our attention!

The most difficult thing about keeping secrets that no one knows, is that they drive you crazy and make you think, feel, and do crazy, sometimes harmful, shit. I kept girls around me to ward off suspicion and partook in the heterosexual overly excited teen drama. I had a few girlfriends, took girls to dances, lost my virginity yada yada yada…But that only created more stress. I hated the fact that I was gay. I resented myself for it. I would barter to the higher power to make me straight. When things got really bad I asked my mom to take me to see a psychiatrist (who I constantly lied to about my sexuality) because I wanted to get a magic pill that would help me feel okay. My anxiety was so overpowering that for a year I was taking Prozac trying to convince a shrink, and myself, that I was straight. At the peak of it, I was wearing a heart monitor strapped to my chest to make sure I wasn’t having heart murmurs. I was slowly turning into a robot on the inside and out.

There was so much pressure to fit in, I tried to force myself to be like everyone else. The last thing any teen wants is to be “uncool.” Hell, the typical lingo for things that were lame was “gay” and someone who wasn’t cool “fag” or “faggot.” Every day those words are so casually tossed into conversation as if it were true. And, I started to believe they were. There were no openly gay role models in culture for me to look up to at the time to dispel that myth (besides Freddie Mercury, you my dude!!!). Countless rap songs about chasing women and misogyny, TV shows and movies about how the guy always gets the hot girl or wants to. I don’t think I saw a gay person on TV until Will and Grace which, after all, was a comedy.”

I was surprised how supportive my family and friends were in my coming out and it gave and still gives me hope. I believe in the goodness of people. Yes, there is a lot of negativity and hate. Instead of giving into that fear and sadness, we need to shine. Shine so brightly that it inspires your community to do the same. It won’t always be easy, but the battle is worth it. Never ever give up on yourself. It might not be cool to love Britney Spears, study AP physics or play saxophone but, it’s totally cool to be gay.

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