Stuart Milk and Barack ObamaBecause I do so much work internationally where coming out can cost a person their life, I caution people to assess their own situation. Authenticity is always better than wearing a mask. People can only share their gifts with the world if they can be authentic. But because it’s illegal to come out in 76% of the world, I can’t tell everybody it’s okay… Just outside of New York City, on Long Island where Harvey and I grew up, it’s still a brutal place to be different.

There’s a gift to authenticity. A gift we give to ourselves and to the world. If their government and their society and their community are going to brutally condemn them, coming out may not be the best thing. But self-acceptance is something everyone can do everywhere.”

Stuart Milk, LGBT activist and nephew of slain gay-rights hero Harvey Milk, to blogger Corey Lambert.

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