Coming Out Matters

STORY BY Reyne Hirsch

Published: March 7, 2014

My latest guilty pleasure… E!’s new TV show, #RichKids of Beverly Hills.  I’m not sure if it’s the yacht parties, the great clothes or just the insanity of it all, but I’m hooked.

What I do know, is money can’t solve all the worlds challenges, but one of the stars of #RichKids is doing his part to make certain challenges in life one step easier.

Jonny Drubel, one of the shows cast members, recently became the celebrity ambassador to Students Moving America project, Coming Out Matters.  I caught up with him recently to learn more about it, and how it has helped many kids, rich AND poor.

RH:  Tell me a little about Coming Out Matters

JD:  The nonprofit Students Moving America reached out to me with the concept of helping people around the world who were struggling with opening up to their families and friends about being gay. We developed this online social space that gave those already out a platform to share their story with others to help make others journeys easier. Everyone has a coming out story. We are hoping by watching other people’s stories the positive message will help people struggling to come out move forward.  Essentially, someone from Houston can see hear someone in LA’s story about coming out, and help them gain the confidence to do the same. 

RH:  Did you find it to be challenging to be gay growing up in New England?

JD:  Actually I grew up in Houston, Texas, but moved to New Hampshire at age 10. I lived in the small town of Hannover.  I was called faggot, queer, etc. I think it probably would have happened anywhere though. People are simply insecure. The difference in growing up in New England as opposed to living in Los Angeles was huge. I felt like I didn’t belong in New England. I just didn’t fit in.  When I moved to LA it took me a while to be comfortable becoming part of the gay community. There hadn’t been one in New England.  After a while, I finally found a sense of belonging.

 I get a lot of messages on Facebook from people living in small towns asking for suggestions on coming out. I tell them to move to a big city.  A big city will give you a sense of community. 

RH: What has been the most powerful story you’ve heard on “Coming Out Matters”?

JD:   A very brave Lacrosse player named Holden.  He was very brave coming out in such a straight, male dominated sport. Watch his story:

http://www.comingoutmatters.com/#/holden-richards/

RH:  What’s the best message you can send readers who are considering coming out?

JD:  Keep it casual:  Coming Out blows no matter who you are, but we, as a community can make it easier for those of you trying to come out.

Following Jonny on Facebook:  Facebook.com/jonnydrubel

Tune in to #RichKids of Beverly Hills Sundays at 10/9c only on E!

Other Stories by Reyne Hirsch
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