March 07, 2018 01:00 AM

NOTE FROM JESS CAGLE, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, PEOPLE AND ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:

In the moving comedy-drama Love, Simon (in theaters March 16) Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel star as the parents of Simon, a high schooler played by Nick Robinson who struggles to tell loved ones that he’s gay. Acceptance in America has increased dramatically in recent years, but coming out as LGBTQ is still a profound and often traumatic experience.

PEOPLE and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, along with GLSEN, the non-profit that fights to make schools safe for all kids, invited individuals from all walks of life to share real-life coming out stories. COMING OUT STORIES (produced by Ryan Buxton) can be seen at people.com/comingoutstories and on PeopleTV (download the app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device).

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Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy knew he was gay since he was about 5 — but “because I was afraid of being different, that became my secret,” he says.

He first came out to his best friend, fellow skier Bobby Brown, and Brown’s girlfriend after the 2104 Olympics in Sochi. “I was crying, but it made me feel so good, so real, and I’d never, ever felt that,” Kenworthy, 26, says.

 

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