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Kaleena Newman

Kaleena Newman


Kaleena Newman came out at age 11.

Luckily, her parents were supportive, but not everybody was. Now at age 15 she is ready with some advice for young gays and lesbians thinking about taking the same big step.

* Come out to yourself first. Once you're ready to come out to others, build a support base before you tell anyone who might hurt you.

* Don't try to get sympathy. When you're out, some might say how strong you are. True, gay kids usually have a harder time than straight kids, but leading someone to think that you're very different from everyone else won't help.

* When you come out, be prepared for those who talk about you behind your back. Know that you will have to say something to your old friend who now sends you e-mails that state: "God created Adam and Eve, not Eve and Emily."

* Know that a lot of your crushes will be straight--that the girl you like will turn you down for a guy and will stop talking to you because she won't know how to react when you tell her how you feel.

* Some kids become desperate for a relationship. Don't. It might be harder for you to find someone, but don't settle for just anyone.

* When you find someone, remember that the two of you are no different from any straight couple. Don't be afraid to show affection and love.

* Encourage your gay and straight friends to fight for LGBT rights. Talk to people who don't accept gays. There are many people who have been taught that gay is bad, but you, just one person, can change their perspective.

* Do what you want with your life and don't let bias keep you from the job you want or the success you deserve. Being gay has nothing to do with your talent or ability in any field of work.

* When you become comfortable with who you are, help others. There will always be confused and scared kids who think they are alone. Until they are helped by someone, they will remain confused and alone. We are all alone until we are reminded of all the people who have helped and loved us through the times when we lost our way.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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