This morning, in a heartfelt piece published on the Huffington Post, GRiZ announced to the world that he is gay.
Anyone who has gone through a similar a experience knows what a struggle it is. Not only does the person have to convince him/herself that the way they feel is OK in modern society, but they have to worry about convincing their family, their friends, and in the case of GRiZ, millions of fans.
A straight person will never understand this feeling. For the most part, people are raised to believe that those closest to them are there to help. They believe that their family and friends want them to be happy and want them to succeed. Someone who is gay could go their whole life believing this to be true…until they feel comfortable enough to show those people who they are.
Once they do, they find out they were lied to. They find out that one totally insignificant detail of how their brain is programmed from birth is cause to have those same people betray them because its outside of what’s considered “normal”.
Thankfully, in today’s world people are feeling more and more comfortable with expressing themselves in this regard. If GRiZ had done this at another point in history, the comments on the post wouldn’t be a list of sentiments and praise. It would be the opposite. A huge chunk of his fans would never listen to his music again. In order to maintain his position in the industry, he might have had to lie about who we was for decades. That’s a kind of hole that can’t be filled by money, fame, or millions of fans.
It’s important to follow GRiZ’s example whether you’re gay or not. If you are gay, don’t feel obligated to scream it from the rooftops. Instead just know that you aren’t alone. It’s ok if you’re not ready to tell anyone and it’s ok if you’re ready to tell everyone. What’s most important is to accept yourself.
If you’re not gay, you may never know what it’s like to be born as an outsider. This makes it your job to be accepting of everyone you meet. As a straight person you have the power to show other straight people who may not be as open-minded as you that everyone, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or anything else, is worthy of respect.
That means the best way to keep moving forward is to show the bigots how much better it is to be accepting; accepting of yourself and accepting of others.
GRiZ just demonstrated the power of acceptance. Now it’s your turn. My turn. Our turn.