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Local business owner shares his story on National Coming Out Day

Posted at 9:40 AM, Oct 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-11 12:43:57-04

PHOENIX — According to the nonprofit One-n-Ten, only 57% of LGBTQ+ youth have come out to their families and even fewer to their friends, colleagues, or doctors.

Monday is National Coming Out Day and National Indigenous Peoples' Day. ABC15 spoke with Ty James Largo, a member of both communities, about his coming out story. He plans to share it on stage at an event Monday evening at the Heard Museum, in support of One-n-Ten, which supports LGBTQ+ youth.

Largo is president of the AWE Collective, a public relations firm in the Phoenix area. He's also a board member for the American Indian Chamber of Commerce. He says he first came out to his family when he was 23 years old.

"My mom just kind of outted me. She said, 'Are you gay?' So we had the conversation from that context," he said. "People may think someone like myself, owning a company, owning a business, might be more bold to own that journey. But really it was my mom who had the courage to start that conversation."

Largo says he still has to come out to clients and colleagues every day, not knowing how they may react. He says everyone's journey is different.

"I'll be honest, I do have permission from my partner who is 38 years old," he said. "He is not out, that is the plot twist. This is the world we live in and this is why I've chose to step on stage to help share, compel people to start that journey, and sometimes that journey is close to home."

If you would like to support One-n-Ten or you know someone who is in need of assistance, click here.