Several years into her military career, Jenny Thielke realized she was gay. But there was just one problem: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was still in place. This is her story of going from serving in the closet to being out, open, and a mentor for other LGBTQ troops.
As a queer, nonbinary person, Ainsley brings a unique perspective to the heteronormative wedding industry. This is their story of coming out and becoming a wedding planner for the LGBTQ community.
When Michelle and Kelly each moved to Austin to start over, they didn’t know other gay women. They met and decided to start hosting events to build a community for LGBTQ women, and the newly-engaged couple is now hosting Austin Pride’s official women’s events.
Gay couple Ben and Matt have embarked on a year-long trip around the world together. They’re documenting their journey to provide advice and resources to other LGBTQ travelers, and they have hopes of creating gay-friendly travel guides in the future. This is their story.
Growing up in an Iranian family, Omid was terrified to come out as gay, so he stayed in the closet until his late twenties. He’s now creating a pop-up book to make the coming out process easier for others and provide the resource he wishes he’d had when he was younger.
Growing up in upstate New York, Christina didn’t feel safe coming out as a lesbian. Once she moved to Chicago, she finally felt free to be herself, but there were no dedicated spaces for women. Together with a friend, she launched Back Lot Bash 15 years ago, now one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ women’s events.
When Rocky considered transitioning genders, he thought it might be too late and wasn’t sure if he’d ever meet a partner who accepted him fully. Luckily he found Sarah, a queer woman, and together they work to be visible as an interracial trans-cis couple.
When Aydian realized he was transgender, in an effort to feel less alone, he started a YouTube channel. It gained popularity, eventually helping him become the first trans man on the cover of Men’s Health. This is his story of embracing his identity, creating resources for the trans community, and starting a family.
When Trystan, a trans man, wanted to build his family, he decided to have a child biologically despite the social risks and personal challenges. Here’s what it was like for him and his partner.
Sarah grew up in a conservative family that wanted her to fit into a specific mold. But she gradually rejected these constraints and came to embrace her queerness, and with the help of her transgender partner, began to further explore gender identity.