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A Semi-Raunchy Selfie Forced Pansy Mag's Michael Oliver Love to Come Out

A Semi-Raunchy Selfie Forced Pansy Mag's Michael Oliver Love to Come Out

Michael Oliver Love
Photo via @michaeloliverlove

The 22-year-old photographer talks opening up to his family six years ago. 

When today's world leaders seem content waving their nukes around in masculine pissing contests, embracing your inner pansy can be a revolutionary act. To be effeminate and gentle is brave, which is why 22-year-old Michael Oliver Love created Pansy Magazine.

The eccentric founder and photographer (who'll gladly show you his birth certificate to prove his name is actually real) developed the indie mag as an outlet to showcase the sorts of gender-bending fashion that challenges masculinity and, most importantly, "makes life a little easier for the wonderful weirdos of the world."

For National Coming Out Day, we caught up with the wonderful weirdo himself to ask about his own coming out six years ago in his own words. As with many of our own stories, Love's involves digital cameras, shopping malls, and, of course, Zac Efron.

Grey Gardens

Michael at 16-years-old (Courtesy of Michael Oliver Love)

Coming out. What a nerve wracking, back checking and anxiety ridden period that was. I had come out to a couple of my closest friends when I was 16. Of course, these sharing sessions were loaded with tears and deep chats--like we had some clue of what goes on in the gay world.

The real story was coming out to my parents. I dreaded the thought and kept putting it off. This was at a time when every comment made by my parents about same-sex relations seemed to ring in my ears and haunt my dreams. What if they didn't accept me? Who even is ME? Zac Efron is so cute though? It wasn't until the incident with my first boyfriend at 17 that pretty much forced me out the closet.

We had been ducking and diving, going on secret movie dates and hiding on the mall roof for a couple of months with neither of us being out to our parents. We had just spent the weekend together at his house. I brought my camera with, so we obviously took some hella cute (and semi-raunchy) couple selfies with it. Throw forward to Monday when my 10-year-old brother asked to borrow my camera to take some photos. Obviously he could borrow it because I'm the best brother ever. Long-story-short, queue my mother walking in with a kissing selfie lighting up the camera screen facing my way: "Michael, what's going on?"

Out came the water works and the hugs and the everything will be alright vibes, after which the rest of my family was told and everything was okay (Besides the fact that my then-boyfriend was actually a total cunt that my family rightfully hated, but that's a story for another time). The supposed nightmarish reality I had painted of being outed to my family was not true. Everyone still loved me and treated me the same. Everything actually became a whole lot easier not having to hide anymore, so I'm so grateful to my little brother for borrowing my camera that day, otherwise who knows when I would have done it.

Coming out can be quite a scary thing. It's a time of a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, and luckily I was blessed with an open-minded family, as I know not everyone is. All that you can do is be confident in who you are and what you believe in. I know it sounds cheesy and it can take some time to get there but once you do, no one can get in your way. And if no one else accepts you for you, fuck it, you've just got to accept yourself because darling, you're a star.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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