Earlier this month, DJ and All Good Recs owner GRiZ (Grant Kwiecinski) issued a statement via Huffington Post, in which he comes out as gay. While this was a celebratory article written by GRiZ himself, the story is a sad yet important one to be told.

GRiZ speaks of his struggle with coming to grips with his sexuality and how it drove him into depression and crippling anxiety. He claims the struggle started in middle school when the transition from thinking girls were gross to finding them attractive never occurred for him. Instead, he “just wasn’t interested.” However, he simply shrugged this thought away and  thought the time just hadn’t come yet.

Fast forwarding to high school, GRiZ finally came to the realization that he was gay, but he did not want to accept it as fact. This was his little secret to himself, and he kept this secret by having girlfriends and losing his virginity to cover up the fact that he was gay. However, GRiZ says doing this only created more stress. In his statement, he admits that “[he] hated the fact that [he] was gay. [He] resented [himself] for it…and would barter to the higher power to make [himself] straight.” He was driven into such self-hatred and anxiety that he had to wear a heart monitor to make sure he wasn’t having heart murmurs.

What made this process so hard for GRiZ was the social culture around him at his age, in which everyone was trying to fit in and “gay” and “faggot” were thrown around as casual lingo for things or people who “weren’t cool.” In addition to this, he states that “there were no openly gay role models in culture for [him] to look up to at the time to dispel that myth” that the lingo stood for what was true.

Fast forward to the present, this upbeat, saxophone-playing DJ that preaches “Show Love, Spread Love” shares how he “[took] the leap of faith” in college and surrounded himself with people who made him feel more comfortable with his true self. To end, I leave you with a quote from GRiZ himself: “Instead of giving into that fear and sadness, we need to shine. Shine so brightly that it inspires your community to do the same. It won’t always be easy, but the battle is worth it. Never give up on yourself.”

Read his article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5935d865e4b0c670a3ce6797

Much love,

Sidney