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There is one event that ties all of us in the gay community together. An event like no other. A climax of experience.

A build-up of years of tension and a final climax of expression. Surprisingly, I’m not talking about orgasm, I’m talking about coming out.

Coming out, however, as we all know, isn’t a one-time thing. It isn’t one Facebook or Instagram post. People will continue to ask. Coming out seems to continue on a day-to-day basis and each time is the same. It may become a little easier, but you still summon the same confidence and strength while becoming vulnerable and honest.

I’m sure there are many other ways that each of you continue to demonstrate your strength on a daily basis. Maybe it’s by showing up for work, maybe it’s by engaging in a challenging conversation in your relationship, maybe it’s by giving away your time in a volunteer position that you serve in.

You may say, “Not me … I didn’t show any strength today … I laid around depressed and binge-watched Netflix…” and honey, that is OK! I’m a health and wellness professional and I do that on occasions.

The fact is that no matter if you are a full-time philanthropist donating time and money to good causes or if you are just strong enough to roll out of bed, baby, you are your own hero, and I cannot stress enough the importance of tapping into this to become your best gay self. If you feel like you don’t have the strength today, then look back into your past and remember how you showed up for yourself when you came out. You became your hero then and you can do it now. Rollover at least, open your eyes. There you go. You are a hero.

So, what’s the point to all this? Why would I want to be my own hero? Well, the fact is that despite the overwhelming amount of digital connection these days we are still in a highly individualistic society.

As we have seen this past year, you can’t wait for the government to show up for you. Depending on the circumstances, like a COVID outbreak, you may not even be able to depend on your family to show up and rescue you. Instead, you have to show up for yourself and when you do, there really isn’t a gift more rewarding.

Now, I’m not saying to knock down some governmental building’s door to get what you want, I’m saying it’s high time to show up for what you need and what you can control.

Diet, exercise, sleep hygiene, meditation are all real things that save lives when the owner of a human body uses them. If you think you can’t then just remember when you thought coming out would be impossible. The mountain was too high. The ridicule ran too deep.

The fear pulled you back and paralyzed you until one day it popped, and you stood up for your life and claimed, “I’m gay!” You have a chance today to show up and be your hero and to become your best gay self.

You can literally save your life. Tap into that great spirit that we all share in common and make strides towards the best days of your life. I know you can, because you have before, and you do each time you embrace your gay. Show-up today. Be your hero.

My Best Gay Self is a column by author, speaker, fitness coach and LGBTQ addiction and wellness advocate, Mark Turnipseed. He is also the Owner and CEO of Integrity Endurance, a network of personal trainers with the goal of fighting the opioid crisis through fitness. Visit to learn more/contact or to find his book "My Suicide Race: Surviving the trauma of addiction, recovery and coming out."